My (Un)love of LinkedIn

when was the last time you signed into linkedin?

there are still quite a few people that don’t see it as anything other than a repository for their c.v. or professional profile.

yawn-worthy

[note: please check if you want to tell everyone that you are interested in career opportunities, which is the default setting when setting up your profile. you may be, but not so that everyone - including your current employer - knows!]

business development?

but how many people use it to generate leads, engage with their connections (have a dialogue) or generate meaningful content (within the platform) to share to their connections or groups?

very few.

but this is merely reflective.

my Unlove stems from:

the staleness of the platform (cf. Tumblr, Pinterest, Posterous, WordPress, Twitter or Google+)

the amount of advertising that is displayed on the home screen

the lack of people that use the share facility (they default to Twitter usually via Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Seesmic)

the constant updates of profiles (i should be able to unsubscribe from this)

the lack of themes to give each profile some uniqueness (i would pay for this if it meant that my profile could be branded in some way)

the fact that the posts in my stream cannot be expanded or shared out of LinkedIn (cf. this to the latest version of Twitter on my mobile where i can do this)

the suggestions of people and companies seem to have become more and more random as my number of connections has grown

the ability to use Skype or Google+ hangouts direct from LinkedIn.

but most of all

i am left wondering:

what’s the point?

on one level the argument for using linkedin looks entirely plausible – you have an opportunity to be found outside of your website, blog or other platforms

but the argument is specious.

as i alluded to yesterday on my post on Pinterest, there is a huge amount of information that i could include in one of the boards (remember the gary vaynerchuk board) that would be much better at displaying my talents, recommendations, content and best bits from around the web.

you might posit that i could use Slideshare, J D Supra or Google docs but the integation is poor (the slant is towards getting me to pay for something).

of course, you have a gathering of millions but the only place of real engagement (which now borders on overt selling) is in the groups.

you may think i am being picky

i am.

if i was spending £29.95 per month then i would want to show a quick(ish) roi.

don’t get me wrong

i like LinkedIn for connecting, networking and the events but of late i have become frustrated with the fact that people have come aboard and somehow think it is novel.

and there are the people who now insist on spamming you with all manner or offers.

i understand the need to sell but given the contact information (on my page at least), why don’t you pick up the phone, try Skype or better still try to earn my attention before you slap me with your amazing launch.

i am not about to leave LinkedIn

but i am tired of seeing the same people constantly pop up with the same message and the rest …

who knows?

i was tempted to start the Unlove LinkedIn group but i am sure it wouldn’t pass muster (with you).

for me, i just want to be in a position to provide valuable insight, engage with my community and build relationships which are mutually beneficial.

i haven’t taken up any of these points with LinkedIn but i do follow their blog and i haven’t detected a great desire to plug some of these holes.

but if they are not careful i sense that someone could easily steal their thunder.

the big attraction for any ‘client’ community has to be a reason to come back to the platform – that might be driven by the amount of business you think you can do – but more likely it will be focused on the ability to earn a following which in time you can turn to for help, offer your service(s) to or just to extend a helping hand (see Influence by Robert Cialdini).

come on LinkedIn.

do something for the sake of your followers.

if you don’t start doing something different then you will find a slew of your connections ignorning you or pulling the plug.

Related posts

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4 Responses to “My (Un)love of LinkedIn”

  1. Tim Malnick says:

    Hi Julian

    I agree. I have never quite been sure what Linked In is for (as opposed to what people say it is for). I find the format hard. My connections are growing. All fine people. But what is it for.

    Having said that I did email a selection of connections and an old friend came along to two of my workshops – she would not otherwise have found out about them.

    But not many other bits of evidence.

    I am fascinated by what people actually use Linked In for and what happens when they do.

    Tim

  2. Tim Malnick says:

    Hi Julian

    I agree. I have never quite been sure what Linked In is for (as opposed to what people say it is for). I find the format hard. My connections are growing. All fine people. But what is it for.

    Having said that I did email a selection of connections and an old friend came along to two of my workshops – she would not otherwise have found out about them.

    But not many other bits of evidence.

    I am fascinated by what people actually use Linked In for and what happens when they do.

    Tim

  3. Julian Summerhayes says:

    Good question Tim. I think people see it as a place to profile their professional status and that is possibly why it is so moribund when it comes to content and real dialogue. I try to reach out to people regularly but because, save for Twitter, you are not sure what they are focused on – projects etc – it is difficult to be as helpful as I would like. It is good(ish) for events and uploading some content to Slideshare but too few people know about the application to make it worthwhile investing large amounts of time in.

  4. Julian Summerhayes says:

    Good question Tim. I think people see it as a place to profile their professional status and that is possibly why it is so moribund when it comes to content and real dialogue. I try to reach out to people regularly but because, save for Twitter, you are not sure what they are focused on – projects etc – it is difficult to be as helpful as I would like. It is good(ish) for events and uploading some content to Slideshare but too few people know about the application to make it worthwhile investing large amounts of time in.

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