Assistance, Opinions, and Introductions: Puts ‘Pro” in a Professional Network

There has been a slowdown over the last year in the expansion of social media sites. Few would contest that anyone (other than maybe Google) can compete with Facebook as a traditional social network. Most would agree that Twitter has microblogging in the bag. YouTube owns video. LinkedIn owns professional social networking…

… or does it?

Though some would say that there is very little room for another professional social network, there seem to be plenty who are trying. Startups like Meeteor,, and others are taking a shot at making professional networks that are more useful than the sheer bulk that LinkedIn offers.

Business Insider first covered last year and the site seems to have gone beyond those first challenging stages when startups must get over several humps to remain valid. Today, the community is thriving and it appears that there is no shortage of assistance, opinions, or introductions being made.

Part of the key to their success has been the shift in information-gathering from search to social according to co-founder Adam Rodnitzky.

“We’re seeing a shift on the web where people seeking help and information are using search engines less and their social networks more to find what they need,” Rodnitsky said. “We see as a growing part of this shift from search to social.”

The concept is pretty simple. The friends and family that we have on Facebook are often useless in helping to get Retweets of an article or to make an introduction to a potential business partner. LinkedIn has the introduction-potential, but there is no tracking nor is there any real way to use the network to spread a message. uses the network in a “pay it forward or backward” methodology to plainly give and receive. There premise is that we all need our backs scratched and most are willing to scratch other people’s backs within their network; why not organise the back-scratching and track it so that the helpful professionals of the a given industry can work with others?

“I ask for retweets and shares all the time and people ask me for the same, but I know that I’m not getting as much back as I put in,” said Jordan Klingler of Kansas City Kia. “With, people know that I’m willing to help them and as a result they’re helping me more readily as well.”

As Wired puts it, is a “good ol’ boy network as a service” with the key being the tracking. It isn’t just about getting retweets. If Bob knows Ken and Sally knows Bob, it’s easier through for Sally to get an introduction to Ken than it would be on LinkedIn or Facebook.

It’s clear that LinkedIn is the 800-lb gorilla in the professional social networking segment, but they’re not Facebook. Innovations have been short since their IPO and users are calling it an “infrequent visit unless they’re looking for a job.”

Can fill the void?