Are you a member of LinkedIn? I am, and you can find my profile here. I have to say that I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for years, and though I haven’t gotten all that much use out of it, and even wrote about it once, I have met a few people in person with whom I contacted first through them, and it does offer me the opportunity to list my business and I actually have a good number of referrals and recommendations from people I’ve either worked with or belong to groups with.

Back in November, LinkedIn started adding some applications to the mix, trying to give its subscribers a chance to become a bit more social than in the past. I finally had an opportunity to check out some of these applications, and I’ve even found one or two that I’ve decided to hook on to.

The one that means the most to me is what they call “Blog Link“, which gives you the opportunity to not only link your blog to LinkedIn, but it also will give up updates on those people you’re connected to who have recently blogged. I added that one, and it automatically went out and found my business blog, as that’s the one associated with my site, and now people who visit me have the option of clicking on the application listed in my sidebar and going to see what kinds of things I’m writing there.

Another application that some folks might like is tied into blogging also, but it’s tied into those blogs that are hosted on the blog site. It’s actually just called “WordPress“, which makes it pretty easy to identify. However, it’s not for folks who use WordPress software, so don’t get fooled.

Another one that’s pretty good, but I decided not to load, is called “Company Buzz“, and it basically looks through Twitter to see if people are talking about your company, and if so it posts those quips on your site. My thought, however, is that it probably looks for your Twitter posts and puts them on your site also, and if you’re not only talking about business then you could look somewhat goofy in some of the posts it might put up for you. No, I don’t quite need that happening.

The only other application that I find somewhat intriguing, that I’ll have to think about, is called “Polls“, and I’m thinking that’s pretty self explanatory. However, it’s geared only towards other members of LinkedIn, and only those people who are connected to you in some fashion. So, it might be interesting, but since its scope is limited I’m thinking that it’s results wouldn’t necessarily be indicative of the population as a whole. Though you can’t use it on LinkedIn, I’m thinking that if you could use a poll like the type John Dilbeck talked about that it would work out better for you in the long run.

I have to say that, overall, I’m impressed with changes that LinkedIn is finally starting to make. Along with the applications I mentioned there are 5 others right now. This comes on the heels of their finally allowing images and working on promoting different types of groups on their site, as I’ve recently (okay, over a month ago) joined their speakers group and their SEO group, although the SEO group has only had one discussion item thus far, and I started it; no comments back yet. Still, they’re finally trying to make it a place where professionals can at least talk to each other, which is a far cry from what it’s been for years, and why I hadn’t given it much value before.

If you’re a business person, I feel I can now say that you at least need to be listed on LinkedIn in some fashion. Check it out when you have a chance.