MemberLink: Leveraging the LinkedIn Network
LinkedIn integration opens up new possibilities for collaboration among MSI members
As those who attended the International Conference in Santa Monica will be aware, MemberLink has recently been updated to provide MSI's members with a richer user experience that is enhanced through an integration with LinkedIn, the world's most popular online professional network with 175 million users.
Among other things, the new MemberLink offers members improved opportunities to explain in greater detail their areas of specialism, better understand the skills offered by MSI counterparts, and participate in (LinkedIn integrated) practice groups.
A number of short 1 minute videos are now available explaining how you can edit your profile, join a group, connect your account to LinkedIn, and there is a video explaining the role of the MemberLink Champion at each member firm.
Leveraging the popularity of the LinkedIn global network
Recognising the importance of LinkedIn's network of 175 million professionals (as of August 2012) and its use by many MSI members, we have integrated MemberLink with LinkedIn. Connecting your LinkedIn account to your MemberLink account (see image above) provides the following benefits:
When you login to MemberLink in the usual way (using your MemberLink username and password) you will be prompted to connect your LinkedIn account (see image above). We encourage members to allow this connection to take place. Once this has been completed, you will also be able to login to MemberLink using your LinkedIn username and password.
Re-use of information from your LinkedIn profile
We recognise that many members will be more likely to keep their LinkedIn profile up to date than their MemberLink profile. By connecting their LinkedIn and MemberLink accounts, members will be able to import specific information from their LinkedIn profile: their photo, headline profile and summary. This ensures consistent presentation of their profiles and saves 're-inventing the wheel'.
Participation in MSI's (LinkedIn) practice groups
If you have connected your LinkedIn account to MemberLink, then you will see on your MemberLink dashboard suggestions regarding groups you could join that match your areas of specialism as well as the latest updates from these groups. Please note that if you haven't connected your accounts, you will only see 3 random group suggestions. There are currenly only a small number of practice groups, but as member volunteers emerge and momentum builds, we will be launching additional practice groups.
The MemberLink dashboard
All members will now see their own dashboard area once they have logged in. Once a connection to LinkedIn has been established and members begin to participate in groups and build their profiles, they will see updates (group updates and in the future news updates) on their dashboard that match their interests and specialist areas.
Improved profiles & the MSI Academy designation
Members can now select from a detailed legal and accountancy related taxonomy a maximum of 20 areas of expertise that will be added to their profile. To allow other users of the site to assess their suitability to serve their needs, members will be asked to categorise each area of practice according to the amount of time they spend working in that area. Based on their selections, MemberLink will create a profile for you and ensure that you rank correctly in any searches.
Members who spend a specific (determined by MSI) amount of time working in a particular technical area will be designated as members of the 'MSI Academy' and will rank ahead of other members. We ask all members to act in the spirit of our worldwide membership by categorising themselves fairly and honestly. A very small proportion of members have already been selected as Academy members based on publicly available information on their websites - members who believe they are genuine specialists in a particular area are encouraged to update their profile to ensure it communicates their skills clearly to other members and of course to other visitors to the website. The MSI Academy is a pilot programme that will evolve in line with member feedback.
Better search capabilities
Along with a better taxonomy for carrying out more in-depth searches, the Advanced Search tool allows members to specify a region for their search. Search results show a snippet of each user's profile (see image above) and allow a graph of each user's practice by percentage share to be viewed.
All members are encouraged to either login themselves to build their profiles or to task their firm's MemberLink Champion with updating profiles.
Building the new MemberLink has been a big project with several integrations taking place in the background. There will be technical difficulties while the 'dust settles' and we kindly ask all members to please have patience while we fix these issues. If you have questions or need support using MemberLink, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our page on how to use the new MemberLink.
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