My level of engagement with my linkedin profile and network is marked by long periods of inactivity punctuated by sharp spikes of updates over very short periods of time. This is not an uncommon pattern. I see this behaviour of engagement with linkedin throughout my network. I update my linkedin profile after each assignment to ask for recommendations or when I am looking for a new contract.
LinkedIn seems to have picked up on this pattern as well. If you have not visited your profile today, you should and you will notice a spanking-new, freshly-mined “Applications” link in the Home and Profile navigation bars adorned with a beta badge–and very beta it is indeed.
The Application platform, InApps, is built on Google’s OpenSocial APIs. Other sites that implement OpenSocial include Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, MySpace, Ning, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.
LinkedIn is trying to guarantee its share of the social graph before it is too late. The goal seems to be to vitalize and energize the professional community and allow users to harness the power of their networks by opening the door to developers to create social applications with a business gloss.
The applications offered right out of the box focus on sharing news (WordPress, SixApart’s Blog Link, Amazon’s ReadingList, and My Travel by TripIt), sharing files (SlideShare, and Google Presentations), and collaboration (Box.net Files, and Huddle WorkSpaces). LinkedIn is also offering an interesting home brew under the name of Company Buzz, which is a twitter aggregator to track tweets about your company and your customized keyword selection.
Rocky experience for me so far. The Amazon ReadingList seems to be riddled with connectivity issues to the Amazon database.Otherwise it seems to be free and does not require registration.
Box.net Files offers a monthly subscription for online storage with a free account under 1GB but you need to sign up for a different account with them. And no, they do not support OpenID.
Various connectivity issues with the rest of the applications, but this is their first night on the block so I will give it another spin in a bit.