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Linking In To Make Muslims Matter

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For those of our readers who do not already know, LinkedIn is a popular professional networking website, that focuses on establishing a user’s professional network through their connections in the corporate or business world, allowing them to post their educational background, work/job history, list of awards and achievements, and other interests on their profile, enabling other LinkedIn users to see their standing as a professional up close. Sans the non-serious fun and games associated with other popular social networking websites, such as MySpace and Facebook, LinkedIn is no-nonsense business and professional networking.

Here is a short video about how LinkedIn works, and how it provides a user with opportunities through its virtual network:

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Although I have had my profile up there since quite some time now, it is just recently that I noticed how LinkedIn has added some more features to its users’ homepage, which will allow the latter to display more information about their background in a professional light. Basically, now a LinkedIn user will be able to better market themselves to prospective clients, employers, recruiters and business partners through these added features and applications, which we’ll discuss below.

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I started to think about how good it would be if Muslims all over the world were interconnected on LinkedIn, based on their common da’wah activities and interests, not just their professions. For example, here on Muslimmatters.org we have people of diverse professions blogging, working behind the scenes (e.g. doing editing and technical work), and last but not least, tenaciously reading and commenting on the posts to keep the blog interesting and active.

We have doctors, teachers, writers, publishers, engineers and lawyers all visiting Muslimmatters to enable this combined blogging effort to achieve fruition. However, when I searched for Muslimmatters.org on LinkedIn, I was disappointed to come up with nothing. A name search, on the other hand, revealed that some very familiar people here on Muslimmatters are definitely present in the LinkedIn network, and with a significant number of professional connections at that!

This means that it will take only a few simple steps to further strengthen Muslims’ presence on LinkedIn.

  1. Get registered:If you are a professional with a few years of experience in your field, but you are not on LinkedIn already, it is about time you were! Join and find your friends and colleagues on LinkedIn. Then send them connection invites.
  2. Add Muslimmatters as a “Current Position” in your title or tagline, or as an interest:For those of Muslimmatters.org staff members who are passionately involved up to their ears in the blog, you can add another “current position” to that of your main profession: e.g. “Editor at Muslimmatters.org”, or “Blogger at Muslimmatters.org”. If not that, at least you can make a passing reference to Muslimmatters in your profile, by mentioning it in your interests or hobbies. That way, more results will pop up when someone searches for ‘Muslimmatters’ on LinkedIn.
  3. Form a Muslimmatters.org group on LinkedIn:This is a special request to those of the MM technical staff that are already LinkedIn users – please create a group for Muslimmatters, complete with a logo and administrator, which can be joined by all of its bloggers, staff members, regular readers and commenters who are registered users on LinkedIn.
    Whoever will join the group, will have its logo and name displayed in the “Groups and Associations” tab on their profile. Even if your main profession is that of a doctor or accountant, for example, but you read Muslimmatters.org regularly, you can join the group and have its logo displayed on your profile to indicate your interest in it as a “hobby” or passion.
  4. Start discussions and pose questions on this group:I have recently joined a couple of writers’ groups on LinkedIn and have been pleasantly surprised how the active discussions on these groups have added to my general writing knowledge, after just a few days of cursory reading, without even participating actively. You can read an article by The Washington Post about how LinkedIn has improved its groups by clicking here.
    Each groups’ activity is displayed on my homepage when I sign in on LinkedIn. This includes discussion topics started and users’ responses to those topics. When any of the users respond to or comment on a topic of discussion, the current position they hold in their company gets displayed next to their picture, enabling me to know spot-on what their professional standing is i.e. what they do (e.g. journalist/freelance contributor) and where they are employed (e.g. The National Networker/The Business Insider).
  5. Add Muslimmatters.org posts feed to your profile by using the WordPress or Blog Link applications that have been added as useful features on LinkedIn:If you are a Muslimmatters.org staff member, you can use the WordPress application to add Muslimmatters to your profile. If you are a reader, you can use Blog Link. Muslimmatters posts will then appear on your profile to anyone who is viewing it. Also, these blog posts will appear on the homepages of those of your connections who have also used the Blog Link application to add their own blogs to their profiles. Think of how much more readerships (and clicks!) can be generated by using these applications to promote Muslimmatters on LinkedIn!
  6. Use the group to get the word out about new openings or ventures:Just like Facebook, groups on LinkedIn are a great way to hire help or to recruit new people. Recently, for example, it was made known that Muslimmatters.org articles are to be compiled and published as a book. Also, there have been requests for articles on Muslimmatters to be translated into other languages. Once Muslimmatters has established itself firmly within the writing and publishing professionals’ network on LinkedIn, finding a publisher or translator by getting the word out among a network of thousands of professionals would be even easier, insha’Allah. This would just add another dimension to the whole Muslimmatters phenomenon.

Here is an article by a blogger for “The Business Insider”, which emphasizes how LinkedIn networking is essential for professional success today. He quotes Barack Obama’s recent success as an example of positive and proactive networking, with the latter having a high number of LinkedIn connections. Of course, it would be simplistic to consider that lone factor as the sole cause for Obama’s win, but maybe he has a point that most of us have been missing?

In order to really make ‘Muslims Matter’, it’s high time we all used the powerful LinkedIn networking tool to establish a more in-your-face, official presence for Muslimmattters.org in the virtual global network of serious professionals.

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Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Sadaf Farooqi is a postgraduate in Computer Science who has done the Taleem Al-Quran Course from Al-Huda International, Institute of Islamic Education for Women, in Karachi, Pakistan. 11 years on, she is now a homeschooling parent of three children, a blogger, published author and freelance writer. She has written articles regularly for Hiba Magazine, SISTERS Magazine and Saudi Gazette. Sadaf shares her life experiences and insights on her award-winning blog, Sadaf's Space, and intermittently teaches subjects such as Fiqh of Zakah, Aqeedah, Arabic Grammar, and Science of Hadith part-time at a local branch of Al-Huda. She has recently become a published author of a book titled 'Traversing the Highs and Lows of Muslim Marriage'. For most part, her Jihad bil Qalam involves juggling work around persistent power breakdowns and preventing six chubby little hands from her computer! Even though it may not seem so, most of her time is spent not in doing all this, but in what she loves most - reading.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    April 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    Jazak Allah khayr for an article encouraging the strengthening of bonds among Muslims, sister.

    I used to have the same sanguine opinion of forming such a group. Here’s an example of what disabused me. I just read the 114 comments in a recent article… The writer got warmth from some readers, and much fire from others. Decorum was frayed or tattered. The comments had to be closed after a handful of days. Perhaps if MM were a very large brand, like a published newspaper, or even as big a blog as Huffington Post, then there would be so many people associated with the site that no one could confuse one person’s opinion with another’s. As it stands, there is much reason to pause before joining a MM group at LinkedIn — and I write here!

  2. iMuslim

    April 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I joined LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, and created a MM company profile:
    http://www.linkedin.com/companies/275381/MuslimMatters.org

    However, only people with an ‘@muslimmatters.org’ e-mail address can register as an ’employee’. Any MM writers who haven’t been assigned such an address should consult with br. Omar.

    Btw, if anyone wants to connect with me on LinkedIn, here is my profile link:
    http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=44887061

    Muslim professionals should also check out the group, IMASE; an organization that aims to coordinate the efforts and skills of professional Muslims:
    http://imase.org

  3. iMuslim

    April 29, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    P.S., at brother Abu AbdAllah… I am not sure I understand your comment.

    I have come to accept that people (incl. Muslims) seem to forget their manners when it comes to commenting on the blogosphere (at least Muslims don’t tend to swear, alhamdulillah). In person, we wouldn’t be so harsh with another human being, lest we receive the same treatment in kind, break important ties, or even get a punch in the nose – that is, people fear the consequences of their rude behaviour.

    Online, however, people are less fearful of letting rip because they believe that there are no consequences – they can get away with it. But of course, there are always consequences… both in dunya and akhirah terms.

    You’d think people would remember that better on a blog that spends so much time and effort talking about Islam and the Hereafter… but the evidence points to the contrary. The irony, eh?

  4. Sadaf

    May 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    Brother Abu Abdullah: I totally agree that sometims the comments scare me — in the sense, that I get scared for the Akhirah of those who make them. Perhaps they do not realize that just because they are writing it instead of saying it, the gravity of the sin [slander, hate mongering, malice, takfeer, mud-slinging, arguing for the sake of arguing, etc.] doesn’t get reduced? However, the benefits of forming a group for MM on LinkedIn will still have benefits that could perhaps outweigh the negatives, Insha’Allah. Maybe MM is not such an estalished entity today, but hopefully, as the virtual content world booms and more Muslims join the bandwagon, one day it will be at par with other influential websites. At least we can begin that journey with a single step i.e. getting MM established on LinkedIn as an entity, at least.

    Mehzabeen you have been admirably quick in joining and establishing yourself on LinkedIn. Jazakillahu khairan for the links. I suggest that all the brothers here too, e.g. Amad, Tariq, Omar, who are already on LinkedIn, at least add MM to either of the following areas in their profiles: your interests, hobbies, groups & associations, or as another position on your list of current positions. And please all use “MuslimMatters.org” as the name of the organization.

    And what you all MUST do, is add the MM RSS Feed to the Blog Link or WordPress application, so that MM displays on your LinkedIn profile when anyone else views it!

  5. Faraz Omar

    May 6, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Hmm… the topic is good. i’ve been thinking on the lines of this for quite some time. its not abt linkedin, its about a serious Muslim media outlet. A media that’s spread across the world and influential. Analysis and opinions of some of the most respected Muslim personalities. The issues come up too quick n too fast and u have to strike when the iron is hot to get ur view across. else ur already passed the time n opinions becum established facts.
    its not hidden that the current media is full of lies and hypocrisy. we’re not even as a collective force defending islam by providing refutations against known right-wing critics who run popular websites calling islam a fascist ideology! (a’oothubillah), i dont want to give them free publicity but i’m sure ur well aware of who im speaking about.
    On another front, the JIDF is organized to suppress the truth about israel and wat it sees as islamic extremism. they even have a free to download software that alerts zionists subscribers if any “anti semitic” article has appeared so they can go ahead n attack it with their comments.

    MuslimMatters has quite a potential, but its mostly restricted to the West. It doesn’t look like it has any serious intention of getting in investors, implement corporate business tactics and expand it into a full-fledged commercial media outlet. It also doesn’t seem to be very clear on policy too. Any Muslim related media should be firm in its roots i.e. Aqeedah and Manhaj of Ahlussunnah wal jama’ah i.e. the salaf-us-saalih. if at such an elementary level it cannot handle or stick on to firm principles that can only guarantee success, then how will it be if the organization grows into tens and thousands of people?

    The internet has a vast potential, if only we know how to conquer it. it is very much possible, but it will require more than just voluntary work. these r just thoughts that can v well b turned into practical and achievable proposal.

  6. Faraz Omar

    May 7, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    n yea i also forgot to mention… apart from Facebook, the JIDF is really taking on Wikipedia

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