Monday, October 5, 2009

(empo-tuulwey) Proprietary, limited profile organizer? Count me LinkedOut

The announcement came in the LinkedIn blog:

I often come across interesting profiles on LinkedIn, but I’ve found it challenging to save profiles so I can easily come back to them later. Usually, I resort to bookmarking the profiles in my web browser or scribbling down names on a piece of paper.

Today we are launching Profile Organizer, a new Premium feature that lets you save profiles, organize them into folders, and add notes. Anytime you find an interesting profile, simply click “Save Profile” and the profile is bookmarked for you within LinkedIn.

Duct Tape Marketing commented:

So, let’s say you are scouting out journalists at a certain publication. You can do a search, set up a folder, and save all the profiles you like in that folder for later contact.

So how do you get this feature? There's a cost:

Profile Organizer is a part of a LinkedIn Premium Account, along with InMail messages, advanced search tools, and more.

The cost of a Premium Account? A minimum of $24.95 per month - and that only allows you to create five folders. Even if you pay $499.95 per month, you're limited to 25 folders. And, in a comment, Ted Meulenkamp noted another drawback:

this is a very interesting feature for recruiters and BUT it would be even better if there was an easy way to share those folders with others so that you could work with others on a search (and I know you now will try to sell me the recruiter module :-) Another feature that I would find interesting is the ability to add “tags” to candidates.

One other drawback of the offering is that it is tied to LinkedIn information only. So while someone can use the new feature to store my LinkedIn profile, they can't throw other information about me into the folder, such as Mark Brunelli's 2006 Oracle Database article that quoted me, or the abstract of the paper that I co-authored in 1991.

Once you start thinking about it, the $24.95 LinkedIn solution may not be for you, and you might find that another tool gives you better performance and better meets your needs. Perhaps a tool like...electronic mail. Depending upon your mail service, you can create unlimited folders and/or unlimited tags to your heart's content, store any content that you want in there, and save a ton of money.

On the other hand, if LinkedIn is a major portion of your life, or if you're using LinkedIn's premium features anyway, $24.95 may be a bargain. But even then, is the five folder limitation practical?

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