This is edited from my reply to this question from the CodeProject forum:
“How much effort should you put into maintaining a LinkedIn profile?”
In terms of business profiles, LinkedIn is the the top dog currently. A basic profile is good enough to set and forget for most people.
My view is that it is essential for anything where you often need to reach out to people. Top reasons for needing a profile that is often updated:
1. Sales – Reach out and discover people who you might do business with.
2. Consulting – Public recommendations provide evidencethat you know what you are doing.
3. Thought leadership – Lots of people read the content on LinkedIn
4. Looking for a job – A LinkedIn profile can make you look more professional
Since people also often jump jobs, it is also an easy way to find lost business associates and friends. This is additionally helpful to me since I only lightly use Facebook.
If you are a developer and are happy with your job/career, I wouldn’t do anything more than the minimum with LinkedIn.