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LinkedIn: The Online Triadic Closure Tool

LinkedIn is an online professional networking site that implements the use of Triadic Closure in order to create a large business network. Users make connections with others on the network, and can find jobs, other people, and business opportunities recommended by those whom they have established connections with. Users can also view the profiles of potential employers and determine how they can be introduced through already present connections. Employers can also list jobs and search for potential employees. This appears to be an effective means of searching for employment, as it was mentioned in class, as well as in the book, that the majority of job opportunities are found through recommendations from acquaintances rather than best friends. This site appears to implement that strategy, as users can build acquaintance relationships with others on the site, and use these connections for the purpose of connecting with others. This site is yet another example of how technology and the Internet has facilitated in broadening the world’s social network, specifically the business sector.

LinkedIn implements the principle of Triadic Closure, as connections are established between two people through the recommendation of a mutual connection. I would consider the connections established on this site as being fairly strong in nature, as users must invite others to become connected with them, so there has to be some incentive for both parties in order for the connection to be established. Once connected, members can also like updates on others’ profiles and use others to establish connections. As a result, if person A has strong established connections with person B and C, it is highly likely that B will establish a connection with C due to recommendation from A. There is incentive for this triadic closure, as the more connections are made, the better the opportunity to establish even more connections, which could lead to a job or a business opportunity. This site also allows users the ability to see what path must be taken in order to establish contact with a specific node in the network, as users can see whom other users are connected to, and what connections they must make in order to gain access to the desired individual or company. There also appears to be strong structural balance in this network, since in theory all relationships in the network should be positive, as there is no real incentive for users to make negative connections in this network. In a business network such as this one, reputation is very important, and, thus, it is only beneficial to establish positive relationships in the network, further strengthening it.

 

http://www.linkedin.com/about-us?trk=hb_ft_about

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