LinkedIn is yet another social media site that I have avoided until being required to join it for my Technology in Kinesiology class. I wasn't interested in LinkedIn because I had heard it described as a "professional version of Facebook," and that concept didn't strike me as fun. After signing up about 20 minutes ago, I would say that that statement is true. From my brief interaction with LinkedIn (besides deleting email requests to join for the past few years), it seems to be a networking site, connecting people to each other with the purpose of job seeking. Some similarities between Facebook and LinkedIn include: a newsfeed-style page, suggestions of who you may know on LinkedIn, and a messaging system. The major difference seems to be the emphasis on the job market, skills, endorsing people you know to help them find jobs, and making connections for more of a professional purpose than social.
I think that if I were in the job market, LinkedIn could be a good source for making connections after I had an initial start, but it wouldn't be the first place I started. I think that who you know does make a difference when applying for jobs. While I want to believe that I was hired for both of my teaching positions because of my skill as a teacher, but I did have a connection to at least one person at each school when I applied, and I am quite sure that played a larger part than I like to admit in getting the job. Here is the link to my profile.