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Querying the Largest Community: LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn Answers is a popular feature of the professional social-networking site LinkedIn. One of the advantages of LinkedIn Answers is that you get to tap the collective intelligence of a site with more than 120 million members worldwide, including many executives and industry experts. Figure 3 shows a sample question on LinkedIn Answers.

Figure 3

Figure 3 LinkedIn Answers helps you to get input from more than 120 million professionals worldwide.

You can ask and answer questions that relate to professional topics in more than 20 categories, such as Management, Marketing and Sales, Professional Development, Finance and Accounting, or Technology. LinkedIn keeps each question open for only seven days, but you can reopen a question if you don't receive enough feedback in that time period.

LinkedIn members who post questions can award a "Best Answer" designation to the person who provides the most helpful answer. Receiving Best Answer votes increases your ranking on the list of experts.

If you're interested in questions related to a specific category, you can subscribe to the RSS feed for that category. Click the link next to the orange-and-white feed icon at the bottom of the Browse box; in response, LinkedIn opens the Subscribe Now pop-up box, which enables you to subscribe using your favorite feed reader, such as Google Reader.

To show your question-and-answer activity, you can display the LinkedIn Answers Q & A box on your profile. This box lists your questions, answers, and expertise. If you've received any "Best Answer" votes, a green square with a white star appears in this box, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4

Figure 4 Promote your activity on LinkedIn Answers on your profile.

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