Facebook vs. LinkedIn for accounting professionals

Which nascent social network does it better for work-related connections?

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

LinkedIn is an online network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 130 industries.

By their own definitions, these two utilities target slightly different types of users. Facebook of course began at Harvard and then expanded to other universities and colleges, and then opened itself up to everyone else. LinkedIn is open to everyone, but is tightly focused on where you work or have worked, not where you live or went to school.

Because of LinkedIn’s focus, it’s easy to connect with current and former colleagues. You fill in your details and LinkedIn does the rest, providing a list of people registered on the site who have the same employer(s) listed.

On Facebook, where you live, where you went to school, and where you work are called “networks”. I’m in the Toronto and Brock University networks. But the problem with Facebook is that it is limited in terms of workplace networks.

Right now, my firm isn’t on Facebook, so I can’t join that particular network since it doesn’t exist. Facebook does provide a way to suggest new networks, but so far the suggestion I’ve made to add my firm has gone ignored.

The problem for me (and no doubt others) with LinkedIn is that there just isn’t as many people I know on it as Facebook. I have over a hundred friends on Facebook, and I have 3 “connections” on LinkedIn. Clearly for me Facebook is the better tool.

And there are ways to network using Facebook even if your employer isn’t available. Anyone can start a group on Facebook for any reason (no matter how spurious), and there are many related to jobs. For instance:

As well, there are groups aimed at the profession:

I think what’s interesting about these groups is they’re started and populated by the young people in those firms. As they progress within their firms and take on more responsibility for things like hiring, Facebook may become even more important for job seekers.

Both networks provide value to their users, that much is clear. I wish I had more contacts on LinkedIn, so that the value of the site to me was higher, but that will just take time. As more of my colleagues learn about LinkedIn, it will grow.

As far as features go, LinkedIn trumps Facebook. But for pure numbers and flexibility, Facebook wins out.

What do you think?

Cell phones become mobile

I’ve been waiting for tomorrow for a long time. The rest of the country has been waiting for tomorrow for a long time. And that time has finally arrived.

Wireless number portability is now here.

Canada is finally catching up with the rest of the world and unshackling phone numbers from phone companies. My number is mine alone, and I’ll be taking it wherever I want!

I’ve already decided to switch. I’ve been with Bell for a couple years now, and although the plan I’m on is pretty good, the reception is often deplorable.

When I’m sitting at my desk at the office, on the 17th floor of a 17-storey building surrounded by no other taller or as-tall buildings, I lose calls within a few seconds of answering them every time. So I’m anxious to try another provider to see if their towers are more advantageously located.

Tomorrow will mark a momentous day for consumers in Canada. It has been a long time coming.

Using MySpace to market professional accounting services

David Rachford has floated the novel (to say the least) idea of marketing a public accounting firm using MySpace.com.

For the last couple weeks – I’ve been wondering – With MySpace.com becoming the most popular website in the world – does that matter to me? (I don’t have a myspace account – thank you) but many companies do have them. In fact, my colleague’s assistant is in a band which recently went on tour, and they promoted their tour almost exclusively through myspace.com.

It’s a crazy idea, but those kinds of ideas have a habit of working well. The mayor of my city, Toronto, has his own MySpace page, as does my favourite Canadian cultural icon, George Stroumboulopoulos. The site works well for personalities as well as bands, but how would it work for accounting firms?

I quick search for ‘accountant’ yields some people who are accountants, but no one seems to be using the site to market their services just yet.

So in that spirit, I went ahead and signed up for MySpace. Over the next few weeks I’m going explore it in-depth in the context of marketing professional accounting services. And if you’ve already got a MySpace account, add me as a friend!

Wireless internet theft affects us all

A story in the New York Times about your friendly neighborhood wireless thieves. I have to admit I’m guilty of this when I’m not at home, but it pretty much does serve you right if you don’t secure your network. Maybe municipal wi-fi will cut down on this “phenomenon”…

Edit: If only Twitter were invented when I wrote this “post”.