LinkedIn recently announced Personal Plus accounts, which in my language are supposed to enable “I want to be found“. Some LinkedIn members [ including yours truly] had been resorting to listing personal e-mail addresses on our LinkedIn profiles so that people who are not in our network, but might need our services can get in touch with us without having to pay for a Business Plus account/InMails.

Personal Plus is supposed to be an answer to the above problem.

The problem was that listing personal e-mail addresses is a violation of the LinkedIn User Agreement [ in layman’s terms, listing in e-mail in your profile means you are listing an item that does not belong there ]. The specific words from the agreement being “Post content in fields that aren’t intended for that content. Example: Putting an address in a name or title field.

Another issue that Personal Plus accounts are intended to address is the fact that a lot of members on LinkedIn – in an effort to gain visibility – were joining/sending requests to join various LinkedIn Groups, which was turning out to be quite an issue for Group Owners.

Being a Personal Plus customer will allow you to be a part of the OpenLink network, which in effect means that you will be able to get in touch directly with people who otherwise were not part of your other LinkedIn Groups but are on the OpenLink network and are open to contact – these persons can be contacted [ for free – except for the USD 60 per annum for Personal Plus ]even if they are not in your third degree network.

The Personal Plus page on LinkedIn also says the following [ additional stuff that isn’t available to free account members ]:

  • Any LinkedIn user can contact you directly when you accept these “toll-free” messages
  • Five more introductions [ I’m assuming that will bring the total number of available introductions to ten ]
  • Priority customer service
  • Members outside your third degree can see your name and entire profile [ in the free accounts they see only a summary and you have to use this LinkedIn PowerTip to make your name visible ].

I still have not signed up for a Personal Plus account – I did fill in the details on the “Purchase” page but wasn’t too sure about benefits. My LinkedIn profile still shows my e-mail address in the contact settings. It probably would have helped if LinkedIn had given everyone a free month of Personal Plus to evaluate the service – it would have been a terrific enabler in terms of decision-making for users. But only a few users have received the trial membership and until I hear some more experiences, I’m not convinced.

I have been keenly following conversations on MyLinkedInPowerForum and LinkedInnovators about Personal Plus accounts but I haven’t heard much in terms of feedback and how it’s a direct benefit.

For LinkedIn users who are not members of the various LinkedIn Yahoo Groups, I’m not sure what their decision-making enablers are! Since I did not get a LinkedIn intimation about Personal Plus accounts and the Personal Plus accounts subscription choice is right at the bottom of the other Business accounts [ even the accounts comparison page does not show the comparison with Personal Plus! ] I am not sure how other users will find out about this new service.

I’d love to hear some feedback regarding Personal Plus – answers related to the following:

  • How many members are on the OpenLink network?
  • Were you able to ‘hook-up’ with someone because of OpenLink?
  • How did you find out about Personal Plus/OpenLink? [ I’d love to compare notes although I doubt if you heard from anywhere else apart from one of the LinkedIn YahooGroups ]
  • Anything else you think is of importance an will help me decide whether to sign-up or not!

Maybe it’s way too early to ask these questions – but it’s money well spent if you know what you’re getting into. I wouldn’t want any hard feelings if I sign up and then figure out that it’s a bad deal! [ Although I doubt it’s going to be a bad deal – I haven’t come across any of that from LinkedIn! ]