I have found it tremendously useful. There are a few competitions like Ryze and Xing, but LinkedIn is the industry leader. When used correctly, it will be useful.
I recommend books like "Never Eat Alone" and "The Pocket Guide to Becoming a Superstar In Your Field" to learn how to network. if you understand how, LinkedIn helps automate some of the processes by letting you keep up with others and them keep up with you. It also provides transparency to your extended network, so you can see contacts of friends without having to talk to them directly to see who they remember.
Of course, many people misuse LinkedIn and simply connect to as many people as possibly. Those aren't real connections and as such they are not people you can rely on to help you. I strongly discourage people from simply connecting to people they don't know well for the sake of connections
Like everything networking related, this is not a quick fix. Networking is something requiring years of investment before you start seeing significant payoffs, but it's well worth it.
Does LinkedIn restrict how many connections you could have?
Joined: Feb 26, 2005
I have one question regarding LinkedIn. Can I send request for recommendation to one of my previous boss who is not in LinkedIn. I tried it but i found that LinkedIn has the option of selecting the recommenders from the list of connections. No provision to provide any email-id.
P.S. I know that the best place for asking is the LinkedIn forum, but JavaRanch is my preferred place of getting answers [ ]