LinkedIn: Are You Getting the First Degree?
Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, the former Vice President of PayPal, LinkedIn.com is an online professional contact database where members can connect directly with people they already know and trust. Unlike other networking sites, you have to know these contacts directly by having worked with them, attending the same school, or being in a similar group or organization . This immediate connection with people that they already know is considered, according to LinkedIn, as a first-degree connection.
Then members can form second-degree connections by linking with their first-degree contacts’ connections. Then third-degree connections can be developed by going through their contacts’ contacts’ contacts. And so on and so forth. (Wow! Does this get confusing?) Actually, it’s quite simple. Through your friends and contacts, you can connect with their friends and contacts.
This method was created to protect LinkedIn members’ privacy and to develop trust. It was also developed to keep spam and unwanted solicitation at bay.
The power of belonging to such a trusted network means that you can connect with someone who knows someone who knows someone else. Can you imagine contacting the owner of the company in which you wish to gain employment through a friend or colleague of his/hers? Or how about connecting with someone who you might never get a chance to meet or talk to in real life? This increases your chances of success and meeting your goals as well as helping others succeed. This is the power of LinkedIn.
So getting the first degree isn’t such a bad thing after all, is it?