Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is probably a part of your communications tool set. Austin’s WeCanStudios just launched an app that makes it even stickier. CanWeNetworksits atop LinkedIn and combines the company’s own algorithms and proximity technologies to match you up with other professionals, presumably ones you should meet.
That’s what makes it easy to get hooked. Most of us already suffer from Facebook fatigue or Tweetfest overloads, so when our business info is magnified so easily, it seems like a new world. Outside of some occasional refresh errors, it delivers simple and clean snapshots of other networkers in your neighborhood. There’s even a tab that allows you to save specific events and see other attendees.
I spoke to James Sinclair, VP of Operations, from Los Angeles, as he geared up for a wider launch.
“We’ve found that professionals in general are very open to growing their networks and using these types of technologies for new leads, recruits, and new possibilities,” said Sinclair.
Their approach has more to do with specificity than serendipity. By using LinkedIn’s scale and massive user base, they’ve created a pretty effective barrier to entry. That’s a big reason Sinclair’s team doesn’t see much risk in hitching themselves so tightly to LinkedIn.
He says similar tools mostly rely on social activity, while CanWeNetwork provides a multi-dimensional look at your business and professional interests. Business Interest Graph (BIG) anyone? They met with LinkedIn very early on and worked through how they could both add value to the platform.
“We told LinkedIn we would drive more content and more connections,” said Sinclair. “We listened to their concerns, made some modifications, and were off and running.”
The other side of the business is the enterprise angle. As large companies open up more parts of their firewall for external collaboration, CanWeNetwork wants to function as a layer for smarter engagement and communication. As an example, two Fortune 100 companies used its service recently to discover other business units working on similar projects. That helped both firms accelerate the innovation cycle and improve knowledge transfer. So it’s no surprise that several social software vendors, anxious to eek out more ROI from their platforms, have expressed interest.
“We think the key to business growth is identifying and attracting opportunity, which starts with a conversation,” said Sinclair. “In fact, we think life advancement is directly correlated to network growth and the value of interactions.”
Are we connected on LinkedIn yet?