SCO CEO McBride Speaks Out On Novell, Finances, And Groklaw - InformationWeek
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SCO CEO McBride Speaks Out On Novell, Finances, And Groklaw

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InformationWeek Daily - Friday, Aug 31, 2007

Editor's Note

Are You Linked In Or Facing The Book?

Lately, I've been getting two similar appeals in my business e-mail: from LinkedIn members wanting to add me as a connection, and from Facebook members adding me as a friend. So now I'm wondering: Which network should I actually take the time to cultivate?

The two networks are actually not all that similar -- although they're trying to be. LinkedIn has been around for a few years, and has, from the beginning, concentrated on helping professionals make connections in order to further their careers and find (and keep) jobs. And in some cases, it works: I picked up a very good freelance gig some time ago when a colleague unexpectedly got back in touch via LinkedIn.

Facebook, on the other hand, started off as a place for students, and has only recently been encouraging business people to create their own Facebook networks of friends and colleagues. However, because of this background, it is also a much richer and more varied service than LinkedIn (which has been working lately to remedy that by adding several new features).

While I don't want to count LinkedIn completely out yet, I can't help comparing this transition to what happened when computers moved from 5.25-inch floppy drives to 3.5-inch floppy drives. (For those of you under 25, floppy drives are what we older folks used before USB flash drives showed up.) For a while, computers were manufactured with both types of drives as users coped with moving their files from the older to the newer format. Eventually, though, the larger 5.25-inch drives disappeared.

Of course, the world of Web-based services is a lot more volatile than that of computer hardware. While Facebook is currently the flavor of the month (having replaced Twitter on top of the "you-gotta-try-this" menu), it could be replaced tomorrow with some up-and-coming startup. Or LinkedUp's team could come up with some new innovation that will pull back the wandering attention of the business community.

If you're a LinkedIn lover or a Facebook fan, I'd be interested to know why you prefer one over the other. Let me know at the InformationWeek Blog.

Barbara Krasnoff

Quote of The Day

"It's the friends you can call up at four a.m. that matter." -- Marlene Dietrich

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