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I was wandering around LinkedIn yesterday when I came across its "answers" area. It apparently has a service much like SO/SF, wherein people can ask questions and other "Subject Matter Experts" can answer them, thereby earning expert status by their answers being accepted as "the answer."

As you can see, this closely mimics what SO/SF does — to the point that I saw the same user post the same question there and on SF yesterday — so I was wondering if the people here would see any value in creating an app for LinkedIn's Applications section that would post a person's SO/SF rep score and a link to that person's profile (and, also, a link to the sites themselves?).

I think it would be a good way to not only garner recognition for individual users, the community, and the sites, but it may also help those users who are currently job hunting.

The problem is that LinkedIn only offers its API to "approved LinkedIn partners," so, and I may be wrong here, the request may have to come from SO/SF itself as opposed to enterprising users.

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4 Answers

Scores? Maybe not immediately. But if your potential-employer digs into your score to find why you got it, yes. If he sees that you average 5 up-votes per answer on C#, that can be good. If he sees that you got popular for posting pictures of cats programming...probably not.

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I intend to use my position as StackOverflow's favorite pony-loving lunatic as a positive quality on my next resume. –  TheTXI Jul 8 '09 at 17:25
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The app wouldn't be mandatory... let the user beware what they publicize on any social networking site. If someone feels comfortable publicizing their SO/SF rep score, then they should do it... who knows, they could run into a cat (or pony) loving potential-employer :-) Thank you for the answer. –  RascalKing Jul 8 '09 at 20:12
    
Wait. Cats can program?! O_O –  Jeff Yates Jul 9 '09 at 15:09
    
Well, yeah....only after they're de-clawed and neutered though. –  Jonathan Sampson Jul 9 '09 at 15:57
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Would it not be possible to just do this yourself (as in anybody with a LinkedIn profile) by posting a link back to their profile, or if there is some HTML-capable area they could post their User Flair?

I am not real up on LinkedIn (haven't logged into it in a couple years) so I am cannot say what is possible and what is not.

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You cannot put arbitrary HTML in a LinkedIn profile (there's actually a question related to this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22716/…). So a simple link is the only way right now. –  Jonik Sep 27 '09 at 17:09
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I think it's worth creating a LinkedIn application to show SO flair on your LinkedIn profile. Then you could show your SO rep as something that advertises your CV.

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I for one would probably use such a LinkedIn app, and I guess it would pretty quickly get up to a few hundred or few thousand users. So in principle I don't think that's such a bad idea.

However, I have two doubts.

SO owners probably are not interested enough.

The problem lies in that LinkedIn only offers their API to "approved LinkedIn partners", so, and I may be wrong here, the request may have to come from SO/SF itself as opposed to enterprising users.

I think you are correct about this. Personally I'd guess that Jeff et al wouldn't be very interested at all in creating a LinkedIn app - they probably find there are way more urgent things to be working on in the SOFU sites themselves. So at the very least someone from Stackoverflow.com LLC would need to officially sanction the app, even if it was actually created by interested users.

More importantly, LinkedIn seems to be very selective about the 3rd party apps. I mean, look at their app directory - there are currently only ten (10) applications available.

Quote from their FAQ:

API access is only offered to approved LinkedIn partners. We partner with companies who provide clearly compelling value to our users, generally giving priority to integrations that provide the most value to the greatest number of LinkedIn users.

Reading that makes it pretty clear to me that they wouldn't want an app that's aimed at so small a portion of their users and does so little (show a rep score and provide a link is pretty minimalistic after all). So while there are lots of (technical) software and IT people on LinkedIn, in the bigger scheme of things they are a tiny minority there. Note that none of the current 3rd party apps are limited to some specific field or industry.

So, in conclusion, simply linking to your SOFU user page from your LinkedIn profile will probably remain the best / only option for some time. =)

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There is a LinkedIn app for GitHub, so I don't think LinkedIn would have any problems with the number of people who might want to use a StackOverflow app. One stumbling block might be that LinkedIn and StackOverflow Careers are competitors of sorts. –  Dan Dyer Aug 26 '11 at 14:54
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Some years later, I still don't think Stack Exchange people would be too interested. For one thing, as Dan noted, there's now SO Careers, and LinkedIn is its competitor in the field of recruitment & job ads. Still, if such app is created, I'll be among the first to use it. :) –  Jonik Dec 20 '12 at 23:06
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LinkedIn appears to have abandoned its apps anyway. It has discontinued the GitHub and Events apps at least and the new-style profile doesn't appear to support any apps at all. –  Dan Dyer Dec 20 '12 at 23:55
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Good call. I was using the Reading List by Amazon app, but it's gone from my profile now, and I can't add it back :/ ("You have reached the limit of applications on your homepage and your profile.") –  Jonik Dec 21 '12 at 7:30
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In January, LinkedIn stopped providing apps. See "LinkedIn Applications Replaced by Limited Rollout of Media Linking Feature". The Meta question Is it possible to show the Stack Exchange flair on LinkedIn? is even more relevant now. –  Stefan Lasiewski Apr 3 '13 at 22:11
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