LendingClub Moves From Facebook to Alums

October 31, 2007

by Kristen Nicole

LendingClub, the peer-to-peer lending service that took off on Facebook and recently announced its plans to expand, is doing so with partnerships with 10 alumni associations across the country.

This is set up in a similar manner to how the Facebook app worked, enabling alumni to lend and borrow money from each other. In establishing these new lending tools, LendingClub has set up co-branded communities with several alumni associations including Georgia Tech, Kansas Sate and my own alma mater, University of Michigan.

This is a unique method of expansion for LendingClub, which announced a round of funding for $10.26 million in August. What it’s doing is offering custom communities for existing organizations, which automatically harbors a level of trust tat would otherwise be absent.

Just like visiting the classifieds site set up for your college, you know that you’re more likely to deal with people that are trustworthy than going to a third-party classifieds site. Dealing with these LendingClub communities isn’t exactly like the classifieds example, because after college we all have a tendency to disperse, so it’s not as if you can drive across campus to pick up the new futon you bought from a Senior. But you get the point.

This route for expansion plays nicely with its initial tactic on Facebook. Growth in the peer- and micro-lending spaces has continued even in the past week, with eBay’s MicroPlace and Zopa’s new Listings section.

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Suffering from Search Engine Fatigue? 3Luxe Attempts to Offer a Remedy

October 31, 2007

by Andy Angelos

A recent study from Autobytel – an online consumer guide for the automotive industry – suggested nearly 70% of American Internet users suffer from a phenomenon called “Search Engine Fatigue.” The condition (not yet recognized by the American Psychological Association) is an outcome of cluttered results, overwhelming advertisements, and inept keywords. Even locating treatment options leads to frustration for some and often forces users to physically leave the computer!

In a race against big pharma, St. Paul, MN based 3luxe developed an online solution – a consumer guide which lists the three best products in any given category. Relying on a team of consumer experts, 3luxe continuously redefines what signifies the “best” through extensive product testing, scouring of reviews, and a user-generated “luxe it or leave it” feature.

Current consumer categories on the advertising supported site include Automotive, Aviation, Boating, Computing, Sports, Travel, and a host of other popular items. Big ticket items like Boating and Aviation are a response to “rocketing” – the theory posited in best-seller Trading Up. Rocketing is connected to the overwhelming majority of American consumers who are willing to splurge for luxury on an increasing number of products. Not all items on 3luxe, however, carry a big price. I was drawn to the beer section which displayed one of my favorite, affordable Belgium Whites.

3luxe is currently ramping both product categories and user experience features for the upcoming holiday season. Individuals devoid of “Search Engine Fatigue” may continue to opt for the diversity of extensive consumer portals like Amazon, but 3luxe should connect with those bewildered by the paradox of choice.

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LINKEDIN TOOLBOX: Top 10 LinkedIn Tools

October 29, 2007

Following the footsteps of Facebook, LinkedIn is set to develop its API for developers soon. Until then, we can make use of some cool tools, scripts, and plugins to manage this popular social network better and easier to use.

LinkedInABox

LinkedInAbox provides a widget that displays various profile information on your blog or site in a neat looking rectangular box. Take this as a step ahead of LinkedIn’s default site-buttons that only link to your profile page. The information at LinkedInAbox is displayed inside the box without you having to leave the web page you are on.

Information that you can choose to display are your profile summary, specialities, education, experience, public profile, recommendations, connections, and ‘drop me a line’. You can choose from six color themes for the box or choose to put a background picture.

Email Linkify

Email Linkify is a Greasemonkey script that you can use on your Firefox browser. It changes all the emails in your online inbox or websites into web links. Clicking these links adds the emails into your LinkedIn Contact List.

LinkedIn Contacts Management

LinkedIn Contacts Management is a desktop application that functions as a mailing list manager allowing you to send emails to all your LinkedIn contacts at one go. The tool imports your LinkedIn contact list information complete with name, email, country, company, etc. You can filter this list later according to your requirements. You can also export your data in a CSV or text format.

LinkedIn Contacts

LinkedIn Contacts is a Facebook application that allows you to share your LinkedIn contacts on your Facebook profile or share them with your friends. So if you know someone in LinkedIn who could be of help to one of your Facebook friends, then this might be a good way to introduce them to each other.

My Company’s Hiring

My Company’s Hiring is another Facebook application that you can use to display available job positions in you organization. Does your company pay referral fee to anyone who brings in new employees to the organization? If the answer is yes, then it’s time you use the power of social networking to help you earn a part of this fee.

My Resume is another Facebook application that lets you post your Linkedin profile or your resume on Facebook. You can use this tool to request resumes from your Facebook friends. There is a listing of Top 100 resumes ranked by the number of recommendations. You can search for resume and there is a country specific listing as well.

To view resumes for professionals who are not in you immediate network, you need to earn credits by inviting your friends to see your resume, writing or getting a recommendation.

LinkedIn hResume

LinkedIn hResume is a WordPress plugin to display your LinkedIn profile in your WordPress blog in your own customized design. It does the job by using the hResume microformat block from your LinkedIn page.

You need to set your LinkedIn profile to Full View in order to make this plugin work.

LinkedIn Toolbars

LinkedIn Tools is set of official tools from LinkedIn itself consisting of a outlook toolbar, browser toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer, email signature, Mac search widget, and a Google toolbar assistant.

With the Outlook toolbar, you can update your Outlook contacts with LinkedIn profile and receive notification when your contacts make any changes in their profiles. The browser toolbar has a search form and provides access to various LinkedIn profiles. The Jobs Insider tool in the browser toolbar allows you to check out job openings at popular job sites and connect you to people in your network who work in a recruitment company.

Export LinkedIn Connections

Export LinkedIn Connections – This is another tool from LinkedIn that allows you to export your LinkedIn contacts to Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo! Address Book, or Mac OS Address Book as a CSV or VCF file. Detailed instructions for each of the services are given on the LinkedIn site.

LinkedIn Search Engines for Firefox

LinkedIn Search Engines for Firefox is a plugin that adds the LinkedIn search options to the Firefox browser’s default search box in the upper right hand corner of the browser. There are two engines available. The first one allows you to search contacts by name, title, or organization. The second one allows you to search for jobs in the LinkedIn network.

Source: Mashable.com