In 2011, I wrote a blog post titled, Why Skype Is The New Solitaire, where I predicted that Skype would become commonplace in business once it was integrated with Microsoft Office and installed on every Windows computer. Of course, it didn’t take a a crystal ball to see the future of the video conferencing, and I don’t take any credit for my divination skills. I do take credit for the witty Solitaire analogy, and this here witty-titled post is meant to be a “sequel” to that first post…
Last month (June 2016), Microsoft announced plans to acquire LinkedIn. This adds leverage to their current CRM software, by adding a large social network of adults, who are mostly professional. I say mostly, because lately there has a been a surge of worthless content on Linkedin. I hope this deal makes LinkedIn more about business, and less BS.
I used to praise LinkedIn for relevant content, and its gotten me more leads than any other online source. There is no definitive date of when The Old LinkedIn became what LinkedIn is today, but I personally felt the shift when the occasional annoying recruiters in my Inbox were suddenly outnumbered by periodic junk mail messages:
But these messages don’t annoy me nearly as much as what I call the math problem posts, here is an example:
2732 Likes and 14506 comments on a math problem that a grade school student should be able to solve? And for the record, the answer is -13. Following the order of operations, you first reduce the multiplier and multiplicand (3×6) and put their product (18) back in the equation 3-18+2 = -13. But why is this on LinkedIn? Why? Because you Like it, that’s why.
Let’s push the math problems off to the side for now, and look at how the LinkedIn / Microsoft deal could actually help your business to grow, work more efficiently, and sell more effectively, by adding functionality to your desktop, tablet, phone, or Surface Hub:
- The Contact List Convergence– You meet someone at a trade show, and send a LI request to be connected. They accept, and are automatically added to your Outlook email contact list. You send them an Outlook Meeting Request.
- Office LinkedIn 365 – It will be easier to share presentations and edit documents within LI groups. You will see live chats and webinars emerge within LinkedIn Groups. Maybe there will be local LinkedIn Groups within your Exchange Server?
- Skype Within LinkedIn – You see a job you like on LinkedIn and apply for it. A day later, you are asked to meet on Linkedin for your first interview, using Skype For Business.
These are just 3 examples of changes you may see as a result of the the Linkedin-Microsoft merger, but you need to be careful. Just like “Mr. Softy” got half of the world hooked on Solitaire and Minesweeper, many of you will soon be using LinkedIn and Skype on a daily basis. Don’t believe me? Just try it, the first one’s free. Here’s a free download of Windows 10, and free Microsoft Word for your Ipad…. Look, a Skype button, let’s test it! Wait, why is this sending an email to all of my Linkedin Contacts? And what’s with all these math problems?