The electronic rolodex, Linked-In, is an example of an internet app becoming dominant very quickly. Less than two years ago there were a couple of alternative sources for keeping your contacts. The most prominent was Plaxo. But there were also some of the cloud services that kept your address book. For a while I used a couple but soon found that some did a horrible job of keeping contacts updated.
In this stage in life I am not a hardcore user of these services. I have about a thousand contacts in my computer. I know some active networkers who have several times that. A percentage of those contacts are purely personal (family and friends that I do not work with) - but I often need to remember people that I meet and may work with briefly in my new role as a consultant. Linked In offers a simple way to do all that.
Linked In has begun a couple of projects which have a lot of prospect for increasing stickiness. They have established groups where conversations can occur. Some of those, like from one university I am connected with, are downright awful. But some have some interesting posts. This morning I got an email to respond on how inspired I am in my work. There is no definition of how to define inspiration but using the Potter Stewart definition (I'll know it when I see it) I went ahead and responded.
At this point the survey has more than 34,000 responses. (Just in the time I have been writing the post 2000 responses have added.) My level of inspiration was 78 which is slightly above the average for all responses. But based on age there seems to be more inspiration as one ages. (I was right about on the median for my age.) There also seems to be a correlation on where you are in a job - the higher your position the more likely you are to be inspired.
Obviously, this is not carefully structured research. There may be some skewing of data simply based on who participates in Linked In and the subset of who responded to an email. But I think the results are interesting. Presented below are the five industries with the most inspired and least inspired workforces. Again, the results may be skewed based on who responded in the industry. All in all some provocative results.