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Foreign Exchange

LinkedIn. What’s that all about then?

For several months I’ve been receiving emails from contacts asking me to join their network on LinkedIn. Perhaps it’s a sign of age, but I really didn’t see the point.

Lee Oliver's LinkedIn profile

However, I did sign up for the service when I found that it was quite a good way of getting hold of various peoples CVs, which has proved handy for our People Moves section. I posted a brief summary of my career, describing myself as a “Jack of all trades, who has been there, seen it, done it, got the t-shirt.” I expected to hear no more.

And then James Sinclair, the former head of research and strategy at Icap electronic broking, got in touch. “You must be Lee Oliver of FiX fame. I invite you to connect on LinkedIn.”

“You look lonely with zero connections,” he pointed out, before adding kindly: “I enjoy your articles – especially the tone with which you write them.”

Now, nobody likes being a Billy No Mates, so I got started on building my network by sending out invitations to my contacts. Kindly, some of these tried to explain what the point of LinkedIn is. One banking mucker responded: “It’s the new world. Probably get closed down by our firewall people as soon as they think we might be looking for jobs.” In a similar vein, a contact at ABN Amro replied: “As a networking site, you will find a high level of ABN staff members joining.”

But I’m still not sure I get it.

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