Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Are you asking the right questions?

Quick Update: I’ve tried out LI Answers and have extended my question to select members of my professional network. Let’s see how many responses I receive.

Also, here are a couple of areas,  I’d like to see enabled in LI Answers —

1. RSS feeds
2. Ability for the questioner to post his/her responses as part of the discussion thread

Now back to the original post: I just tried out LinkedIn Answers, a new service from LinkedIn where you get to ask the right questions to the right people — your professional network. The service holds potential for answering questions related to your career (jobs, networking, etc…).

Within seconds of my posting a question, I received one answer from an internet professional (quick update: 4 6 12 answers in less than 40 hours) and look forward to seeing whether members of my professional network respond. Check out some of the other Marketing & Sales Questions here.

There are three reasons I think this service could work:

1. Converse better: I believe in the power of conversation, and I use my blog as a way to gather opinions. Unfortunately, only 20% of my professional network blogs, and LI Answers could help me get a fresh perspective from the remaining 80% of my professional network who do not blog.

2. Work better: As a corporate marketer, I’m sure all of you have been in situations where you’ve tried finding the right vendor or the right candidate to get the job done quickly and efficiently. LinkedIn Answers could help with recommendations from your professional network.

3. Network better: It’d be a great way to research, find and collaborate on professional events in your geographic area from like minded peers. You can actually ask questions focused around a specific geographic location.

I believe, collaboration is key to a social or professional networking site (see my thoughts on Netflix). Yahoo!’s got Answers, YouTube’s got Community, Netflix’s got Friends, and the professional networker has now got LinkedIn Answers. In Business, asking the right questions, could be the line between success and failure.

What value do you see in LinkedIn Answers?


Related posts from Damon, Jeremiah, Guy Kawasaki, Pete Cashmore, Lifehacker, Zdnet and Cameron Olthius

Filed under: LinkedIn Features

5 Responses

  1. Hi Mario,

    I think the key thing is that the network isn’t too “broad”. As nearly all of my connections are people I’ve worked with, I know their capabilities and insights much better than someone from an “open” network (Yahoo! Answers). In other words, the feedback one gets to their question will be the result of people you know on a professional level & not purely based on friendship. I think having it a little more targeted than Yahoo! answers is also very beneficial (the questions really do seem to center around business).

    Like

  2. Steve Renner says:

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    Like

  3. Mario Sundar says:

    Damon,
    That definitely was my original intention. Interestingly enough, all 6 answers I have received for my question (in 24 hours) come from outside of my existing LinkedIn network. It looks like LI Answers could actually help me find peers who I could add to my network.

    Steve,
    Have YOU used LI Answers and if so, what are your thoughts?

    Like

  4. Vijay says:

    Linked in always lacked that “last mile” to enable collaboration… maybe the “answers” is the Answer…

    Like

  5. Mario Sundar says:

    Hi Vijay,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I definitely think LinkedIn Answers, neatly ties together the other benefits provided by LinkedIn with a focus on community & collaboration.

    Like

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