The social media tool that most indisputably gets it right is LinkedIn, IMO. From your profile setup to the groups you join, every step on LinkedIn has power and meaning.
Your Connections on the network are in a class by themselves. On other sites, you may be associated with many people you like, even love, but don’t necessarily respect all that much. LinkedIn is for your heroes, your esteemed colleagues, the admired few.
Joining groups and participating in discussions is a hugely powerful connector. I get emails each afternoon with my groups’ lists of topics. Dialog with like-minded people is a daily satisfaction. What’s more, sometimes the interactions lead to work inquiries.
LinkedIn’s Answers feature is another foundational tool that works with beautiful simplicity. Both questioner and respondent gain by participating in this professional open forum.
The network was incorporated in 2003, but it seems more mature than a mere 7-year-old. Last year, it reached 40 million members. Maybe not much compared to the inimitable Facebook, but a powerful force, nonetheless.
It’s true that LinkedIn isn’t for everybody. Its culture is specific to some people, in some situations. It doesn’t even try to be otherwise. It’s just cool like that.