JD Supra & LinkedIn: Together At Last

Certain things just go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Burns and Allen. When I learned about the new JD Supra application (link here) to be integrated into LinkedIn ‘s ecosystem, I could hardly contain my excitement.

Starting today, you as JD Supra contributor will be able to upload, publish, manage and spread your documents to your LinkedIn network and the greater community. You as LinkedIn member can enable the JD Supra application within LinkedIn and get targeted legal content streamed to your feed, where you can collect and share the most relevant information with your network. Without having to lift a finger, you the real estate professional can get JD Supra real estate documents, you the securities broker can get JD Supra securities law publications, and you the technology start-up can get JD Supra intellectual property law updates streamed to you. In essence, JD Supra and LinkedIn have created the first, targeted, legal information network within the world’s largest professional social network.

Building a JD Supra / LinkedIn application is no small feat. Unlike social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, where the API is open to any and all developers interested in building on the community, LinkedIn is a closed environment, carefully guarded and walled. That doesn’t stop professionals from leveraging the community, creating profiles, networking with other like-minded professionals, forming and joining professional groups, asking questions and engaging in discussions. LinkedIn has over 70 million members worldwide, and is widely considered one of the top three places to network generally and the number one network for business use specifically.

Which is why I have always pondered the beauty of a connection between these two professional services. Up until now, LinkedIn has allowed into its system a limited number of third party apps (link here):  Box.net (filesharing and collaboration); Slideshare (slide presentations); Blog Link (connecting your blog); LinkedIn Polls; Events; Huddle Workspaces (online collaboration space); SAP Community Bio (SAP qualifications/profile enhancement); Company Buzz (Twitter activity associated with your company); Reading List by Amazon; Google Presentation (another presentation display tool); Tripit’s My Travel (displays upcoming travel); WordPress (connect your WordPress blog); and, Tweets (show your Twitter stream).

These apps are all great at what they do, but most of them primarily afford members the ability to “hot rod” his or her profile with content. They are more “outward facing” tools. The JD Supra application has that too – you can load your JD Supra content onto your LinkedIn profile and get noticed.

What makes the JD Supra / LinkedIn union even more interesting is the application’s creation of a vast information repository for LinkedIn members, an inward streaming resource that brings content from JD Supra contributors to potentially interested LinkedIn members based on their profile metadata. This presents a unique opportunity for JD Supra contributors to tap an already interested audience and expand their influence and network.

App users will automatically get feeds of interest, but also have manual control over the information streamed into their home page news feed. They can subscribe to a particular JD Supra content stream or publisher. They can mark items as favorites and store them in a “file” for later consumption. Or they can “share” key documents with individuals, their network or their groups.

Think about it: you upload a survey on Blue Sky laws into JD Supra; JD Supra does its metadata magic and your survey is published out to the news feeds of LinkedIn members using the JD Supra app and who have securities metadata in their profiles. Then they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, …. And, there is a networking link on documents so viewers interested in connecting with JD Supra contributors can do so right from the document. Instant networking connection!

Check out an AdvantageAdvocates document from JD Supra page as viewed within LinkedIn below:

Buttons allow you to click over to AdvantageAdvocates’ LinkedIn profile, add AdvantageAdvocates documents to your feed, recommend the document, share the document or star the document as a favorite. There is also a link to find out more about the category with which this particular document is tagged – Law Firm Marketing.

But it’s not all about the document viewer. There is great functionality for JD Supra contributors within LinkedIn as well. You can see from the tabs on the JD Supra / LinkedIn page that I can almost completely manage my documents from within LinkedIn. For account management tasks that can’t be addressed within LinkedIn, I get directed back to JD Supra. Over the document-specific button functions are your main JD Supra app functions via tabs: home; browse; portfolio; favorites; feeds; account; and, upload. Yes, upload. I can even load documents to JD Supra now via LinkedIn! Talk about getting all your errands done at one stop!

The functionality of this perfect union is probably the finest example of perceiving a need and meeting it head on and then some within the LinkedIn ecosystem. LinkedIn saw the value of it and approached JD Supra with the idea of working together, and this application is the result. Great foresight, LinkedIn.

I would go so far as to say that everyone on LinkedIn should load this app – if you want expertise flowing to you before you even need it or if you are even remotely interested in staying up to date on developments in your particular business sphere. And, for JD Supra members, I see no better way to give content to and get noticed by the very on-line community you most wish to address.

Congratulations to JD Supra and LinkedIn on a job well done. And thanks to Aviva Cuyler and Adrian Lurssen at JD Supra for giving me a walk-through of the shiny new app. What will they think of next?


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