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LOOKING AT LINKEDIN THROUGH A SOCIOLINGUISTIC LENS Alex Botti and Alison DeBoer//October 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "LOOKING AT LINKEDIN THROUGH A SOCIOLINGUISTIC LENS Alex Botti and Alison DeBoer//October 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 LOOKING AT LINKEDIN THROUGH A SOCIOLINGUISTIC LENS Alex Botti and Alison DeBoer//October 2013

2 Introduction Who we are What we’ve been doing What our goals are Help from you!

3 What we’ll cover 1.Introduction to LinkedIn 2.Contributions from a sociolinguistic perspective (what might others overlook?) Profile as narrative: a framework Identity (“getting personal”) Referring terms 3.Next steps

4 LinkedIn 101 LinkedIn was launched in 2003 (before FB!) 225 million members in 200 countries Mission statement: “Our mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.”

5 A view of my LinkedIn homepage Suggested connections Status update News feed Info about recent activity on the site and info about my connections Menu bar Invitations to connect Profile views Info/suggestion from LinkedIn

6 A view of my LinkedIn profile

7 Components of a profile  Summary  Experience  Skills and Expertise  Education  Projects  Languages  Publications  Groups  Interests  Courses  Test scores  Patents  Certifications  Volunteering and Causes  Recommendations

8 Sociolinguistic Lens

9 The Data  71 profiles  Viewed as “public” for quantitative analysis  Coded for  Age, Gender, Industry  # of connections, recs, sections & words used  Location (by country)  Qualitative analysis looking at identity and self- presentation work

10 Framework: Profiles as narratives Analyzing profiles as we would narratives: Audience Story progression Identity and self-presentation/performance Lexical choices Role of interaction More…

11 LinkedIn Narratives

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13 Framework: Profiles as narratives Zooming in on: Identity and self-presentation (the personal) Lexical choices/referring terms

14 Socio lens: Identity and self-presentation SO WHAT? Why does this data matter?  A virtual you is out there…others can get to it before they get to you! Who is printing out your LinkedIn profile? Where does the personal come in?  LinkedIn’s version of “personal” information, vs. the user’s: linguistic choices people make infuse personality and identity into the profile  A model of “3 Rs”: framework for looking at how the choices people make convey – or have the power to convey – an identity, something beyond a simple online resume

15 The “3 Rs”: Reading LinkedIn through a personal lens  Reading:  Headline: specific or broad? What do people call themselves?  Buzzwords: across a profile  Clues on how to approach and interact

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17  Representing:  LinkedIn as part of a constellation of connections: an online footprint  What makes you tick/passions: what others will read  The “why” of your background The “3 Rs”: Representing yourself – personally – on LinkedIn

18 LinkedIn Narratives

19 The “3 Rs”: Reaching out and staying personal while doing it  Reaching out:  Personal invites: shared history  Staying top of mind: generous interaction

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21  A framework for soliciting feedback on and exploring your own “LinkedIn self”! Now what?

22 Research: Talking about yourself via pronoun choices  I evaluate domestic and international credentials…  Evaluate domestic and international credentials…  Evaluates domestic and international credentials…  She evaluates domestic and international credentials…  Alison evaluates domestic and international credentials…  We evaluate domestic and international credentials…  Domestic and international credential evaluation…

23 Research: Talking about yourself via pronoun choices -What do you think each of these connotes? -What pronouns/referring expressions do you use in your profile? -Do you have a preference for one? -Does the language related to pronouns/referring expressions differ in your resume versus your LinkedIn profile? How so? -Do you use pronouns differently in different sections of profile (i.e. summary versus experience)? Questions for you…

24 Research: Talking about yourself via pronoun choices In Summary section:  36% use no pronouns (credential evaluation)  27% use first person (I evaluate credentials)  18% total use implied first or third person (evaluate(s) credentials From our pilot study… In Experience section:  45% use no pronouns (credential evaluation)  7% use first person (I evaluate credentials)  30% total use implied first or third person (evaluate(s) credentials)

25 What’s next?

26 Next RQs (using this model)

27 Research Questions  How do goals (i.e. searching for a new job, noting emerging industry trends) shape the choices people make in presenting themselves linguistically, and how do these shift over time?  How does the “request to connect” and other such online requests shape offline encounters where identity is performed in relation to other's public faces?  How is LinkedIn talked about in other spaces/platforms?

28 Thank you! Contributions from you


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