Though we're proud to help create a lot of the coolest technologies around, we don't just make technology for its own sake. That's especially true with all of the concern we've heard from our community about the tumultuous economy and unsteady job market — if we're going to look at some gee-whiz new idea, it better have real value.
And that's what we think we're bringing you with our new announcement of Blog Link, powered by TypePad
. At a technical level, it's a free service that lets you promote your blog and read blogs of people in your network, all through the power of LinkedIn's exciting new application platform. We think that's pretty nifty technology, but that's not why we've been creating applications like this.
Instead, you can look to conversations like the recent one our CEO Chris Alden had with Portfolio.com
. There are a lot of interesting points in the interview, but one quote stood out, being mentioned by a lot of folks across the blogosphere:
[A] bad economy will probably lead to an overall uptick in blogging, Alden says. "When you don't know where else to invest," he explains, "you invest in yourself."
Which is kind of a slick way of saying that when you get laid off or your company goes under, it's a good time to build your personal brand by blogging. Or, for that matter, if you suddenly find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, you might blog to fill the empty spaces. "You look for a way to reassert control," Alden points out. "That's a reason blogging surges in down times."
We started our own company here at Six Apart
during uncertain economic times, based on the firm belief that we'd be able to grow our careers, our business, and the entire industry and economy around social media just by using the strength of blogs. It's worked for us, and we believe it can work for every blogger.
What Blog Link Means
If you're an optimist, then this economic environment means your blog is a great way to reinforce your personal brand, to showcase your accomplishments, and to make new connections to potential employers, partners, coworkers and peers.
If you're more of a glass-half-empty person, then your blog can help cement your position in your job or your industry by providing evidence of what you've achieved, it can help distinguish you from your coworkers during cutbacks by vividly illustrating the strength of your ideas, and it can form a safety net to keep you connected to your partners or coworkers regardless of where you happen to be employed at any given time.
We're proud to partner with LinkedIn, which is obviously the signature social network for professionals. But we've also been happy to extend our vision of forming rich connections between blogs and social networks to a purpose as important as helping bloggers build their careers.
What Blog Link Does
The functionality of Blog Link is simple: It's an application you can add to your LinkedIn profile that shows your recent blog entries to anyone who views your profile, while also giving everyone the option to browse blog posts from the people you're connected to.
Blog Link works with any blogging platform: TypePad, Movable Type, Vox, WordPress, Blogger — any common service should just work. There's virtually no setup; You just click on the application to install it and Blog Link will automatically discover the blogs and feeds for you and your associates using the profile information you've already provided on LinkedIn.
Once that's done, you've got a chance to automatically show your writing, your creativity, and the ideas that make you uniquely talented. Anyone who visits your LinkedIn profile will be able to form an opinion of your work not simply based on basic resume information or even solely on the basis of recommendations, but by reading your own thinking in your own words, directly from your blog, automatically and continuously updated.
And while we always want to make technology with a purpose, we're pretty happy with the little technological innovations behind this new application as well. Blog Link joins TypePad AntiSpam
and Blog It
as TypePad-powered services that share a few traits:
- These TypePad-powered services available to all bloggers, regardless of which platform you use
- They're free for any use, and we encourage you to adopt them for whatever you need
- They're designed to help all bloggers succeed and to make the web work better.
We've even taken advantage of some of the latest technology in making Blog Link happen. Our David Recordon helped create the OpenSocial application standard that powers LinkedIn Applications functionality, and he's even provided a video demo of how Blog Link works so you can see it in action for yourself.
We've also written up brief descriptions of Blog Link for each of our platforms as well: