LinkedIn plans to help users set and achieve professional goals

LinkedIn has been investing in developing its professional social network to the next level. Specifically, they plan to help users on their platform grow professionally. This includes $1.5-billion purchase of instructional video site Lynda.com. A recent patent application indicates LinkedIn now plans to help users set and achieve professional goals.

Goal setting is extremely important to achieve professional success. It is often very difficult to set goals, and then determine appropriate actions for pursuing the goal, and then actually performing the actions to achieve the goal.

Some online professional communities help members achieve professional goals within the communities. However, it is generally up to each individual member to motivate herself in that regard, and the more extensive the professional community, the more difficult it is for a new member to use services offered by the community.  In general, existing online communities do little to help a member identify a professional goal and assist that member toward achieving that goal.

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LinkedIn has developed a system that promotes achievement of goals among users on the platform. First, the system infers a goal for a given member based on her activity. Alternatively, the member may explicitly identify the goal. Thereafter, the system proposes suitable milestones that promote achievement of that goal. The member is then given an appropriate award for completion of the milestones, wherein the award is related to the member’s goal. 

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For example, the goal may be to find a job, or to expand her network of connections, or to access interesting content. The milestones that are proposed for progressing to that goal are customized to that goal, and are also customized based on the member’s proficiency within the community. A given member’s `proficiency` is defined to be proportional to her level of experience with the community. Thus, relatively uncomplicated milestones may be suggested to a novice member having a particular goal, while more complex milestones may be suggested to a relatively experienced member. 

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Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160321592
Patent Title: Promoting achievement of a goal in a professional community
Publication date: 3 Nov 2016
Filing date: 29 Jun 2015
Inventors: Yang Zhou; Kyle Ramsay; Barry Huang; Xin Fu;
Original Assignee: LinkedIn Corporation

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