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Ten years on LinkedIn (evertpot.com)
336 points by causality on Mar 7, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 165 comments

I personally got contacted by Facebook, Google and LinkedIn themselves on LinkedIn with job opportunities.

I worked for LinkedIn for a bit and am now working at Facebook.

While I visit the site/app only every other week, I still think it's very valuable to connect to people I talked to at meetups and that I would like to stay connected with somehow. Some of the people I'd like to stay in touch with, don't have at twitter account or are so low frequency that I'd miss things I care about. I probably wouldn't connect with them on Facebook since to me it still feels a bit too "personal".

Considering that LinkedIn was instrumental in the two biggest "moves" in my career and fills a good niche for me, I personally like them as a network.

I agree that the UI is a bit annoying at times, but they're way better than they used to be in that regard. I don't even mind recruiter emails. I have a bit less than 5 years of experience, so I still think it's a bit flattering to receive them :)

While I don't want to be presumptuous it sounds like you are ostensibly just super talented and, at this point, have some solid accomplishments.

So while linkedIn may have opened doors, it is pretty unlikely through something like HN or your own irl network, you wouldve ended up unsuccessful. My own feelings towards linkIn aside, anecdotally it certainly seems that it was useful for you. It certainly has the ability to provide great things, or speed up connections/opportunity.

I agree with the article in that it is a soft requirement for a lot of things:

Entrepreneur: Helpful for hiring, networking looking at competition, finding investors.

Freelancer: Getting gigs, proving reputation.

Bigcompany: online presence, hiring.

Recruiter: obvious.


So while you certainly aren't unique in finding value in linkedIn, it is utterly painful to use and sometimes i feel like if I put my cursor in the wrong place I'll accidentally agree to realtime uploading of all my data & that of my friend.

As an aside, it really can't survive much longer:

* Users hate using it

* it is totally unpleasant and insisistant on you conforming to what it demands.

* signal to noise is so out of alignment it is painful.

* Companies have to deal with the need to be on the platform and endorse enployees who are incentivized to self-promote sometimes to the company's detriment.

* I personally, and I largely suspect this to be very common, have connections I don't know. Either we have drifted apart, were breifly engaged in something, or I was just to lenient with accepting/reaching out.

* Increasingly, it is becoming less profitable as it struggles to give away enough data to be useful, but hold back enough to upsell premium packages.

While facebook certainly seems to care little about privacy, there is a compelling engagement and feeling of human connection that is just not there with linked in.

They should just sell to salesforce, that way the data and privacy could stay just as exploitive, but they could allow users latitude to enjoy/benefit from it a bit more.

Users hate it ... which demo are speaking of HN readers?

LinkedIn has been amazing for me and I find recruiter's messages flattering and a way to increase my salaray by telling them Im making more then I am. How high can they go. There are tons of recruiters hitting us tech people up each week on Linkedin ... one of those messages will turn into your next and way better opportunity.

I a HN reader since 2007 find LinkedIn incredibly useful and I use it everyday. The UI on mobile is fine, even the recent updated UI/design is decent; was really used to the previous.

Users hate using it

That may very well be, but I have never heard anyone say this except on HN

You might very well be correct. However, (and I don't love FB) when is the last time someone in real life called you over to look at something on linkedIN?

Professionally, it is dangerous as you can't show coworkers the great job you found. Most of the articles are advertisements or a logo and smiling people holding laptops, and the jobs (as all sites) are just crawled from every other companies site.

I can only assume that if I have to pay to send you a linkedIn mail we're not connected, and if we are connected I would send you and email.

So, the only reason I go on linkedIN, is because it is too hard to write a crawler to parse what I can only imagine is like 10K LOC of JS, and copy paste the source into my crawler to pull the info. Also, for potential investors & enterprise customers to view these profiles is $80 a month. So the top people who don't want to talk to us get unsolicited inbound emails from us because linkedin sold them out for $80 a month.

so yes this is HN, and yes I bloody hate LI.

At least in my personal case, I think it helped accelerate things a bit.

I'm originally from Germany, so my professional network I developed while being a student turned almost useless after moving to the US.

I could have probably tried to establish a bit of an online presence through e.g. open-source work, but that tends to be a lot more time-intensive compared to just adding a few keywords about what I like and can do and a bit waiting :)

OP may well be super talented, but he may also just have a specialized skill set that is in demand. My personal experience is that I regularly get contacted by companies that are interested in my skills (DevOps, Chef specifically). In fact, I found my current job through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn most definitely has its warts, but I think as an online resume and a way to connect professionals, it succeeds.

>LinkedIn most definitely has its warts, but I think as an online resume and a way to connect professionals, it succeeds.

Exactly. And very importantly: it doesn't have any real competition. It is the social network for professionals to network on, get contacted by recruiters, post their resume, etc. Facebook doesn't have all that, and FB is for your personal stuff anyway, and anyone who mixes their personal life on Facebook (with inane posts about politics or cat videos or whatever) with their professional life is asking to never be hired anywhere. Twitter obviously is useless for the things LinkedIn is used for.

So until something comes along which does the stuff LinkedIn does, but better, we're stuck with it.

> I probably wouldn't connect with them on Facebook since to me it still feels a bit too "personal".

This is an interesting angle. There was a time when Facebook was only friends and family. My impression is that (for better or worse) this is changing rapidly. I wonder if Facebook will try to get into one of the fields mentioned in the four points in rdli's comment.

FB made $6B in revenue in Q4 2015. LinkedIn made $862M in Q4 2015. Given the ultimate size of the global digital advertising market, it seems that there is much more growth potential in expanding share of advertising $$ than trying to expand to brand new businesses.

Facebook is still only for friends and family, if you're smart. Mixing all your coworkers and professional contacts in with your friends and whatever personal stuff you post on FB is just asking for trouble.

I agree that there are many problems with LinkedIn, but my (contrarian) view is that it is still useful for me:

- contact information for professional contacts in one place, updated by them

- job offers (yes, mostly good or at least decent)

- can look up people to see their experience and common contacts

- updates on what previous colleagues are up to.

More here: http://henrikwarne.com/2013/08/21/linkedin-good-or-bad/

I don't know what LinkedIn you're using that provides you with job offers, but the one I'm on has only lead to recruiter contacts which may or may not lead to interviews, which (so far) have never lead to an actual job offer.

LinkedIn is great if you just want to endlessly socialize with recruiters. Don't worry about finding them: They'll all try to connect with you and chat you up about one of their jobs that is just like the one you have but at another company. Hell, you might even get an interview out of it, but good luck turning that into an actual job in today's picky environment.

And if any of those LinkedIn recruiters are reading this, Try This One Neat Trick That Candidates Love: Instead of approaching someone with a job posting that's basically what he did 2 years ago or what he's doing today, approach him with what he might want to be doing 2 years from now. You'll get better responses, I guarantee it.

> I don't know what LinkedIn you're using that provides you with job offers, but the one I'm on has only lead to recruiter contacts which may or may not lead to interviews, which (so far) have never lead to an actual job offer.

I think it is a language thing. I have noticed that non-native English speakers tend to refer to job ads, recruiter contacts, and such as "job offers". I think it comes down to what sense of "offer" you are using: "to give someone the opportunity to accept or take something" or "to make something available".

You're right, they're trying to get me interested in other jobs, which would then lead to an interview etc. Maybe "recruiter proposals" or something would be better.

As for how they should approach you, I recently got annoyed enough by bad approaches to write a blog post about it: http://henrikwarne.com/2015/11/22/recruiting-software-develo...

>> "LinkedIn is great if you just want to endlessly socialize with recruiters"

Why do you socialise with them? Every few days I check in and accept all connection requests (almost all recruiters). I have email notifications turned off so their messages to me just get ignored. Then when it came time to find a job I replied to three or four of them with my requirements, picked a few companies I liked from each, and had interviews setup. Much more efficient than me having to find these companies myself.

That is exactly how I got my current job and how I continue to use linkedin too. It's extremely effective. 3+ recruiters a week, just let em know that now is not a good time but in the future. Network grows and more recruiters hit me up per week. Offers quite a bit of mental security knowing I have an army of recruiter contacts waiting to do my bidding so I can say fuck you to my current job if I wanted.

Except, companies want to hire "experts". They want to hire people who have done X to do X, instead of people who haven't done X but want to do it.

As an anecdotal opposite I went from working in local government to an engineer in Fortune 5 company because a recruiter hit me up on LinkedIn. Now I'm not saying that my hard work didn't help but I don't think I'd be on the remotely same path had that not happened.

I agree with you about everything except the job offers. But even just the other three points are very good.

I have gotten to the point that whenever I consider a client, job offer or employee, I:

- google them for general information

- look them up on LinkedIn to see what they've done professionally and/or if we have anyone in common. (Yes, they may see I have checked out their profile--so what?)

- look for them on twitter (much lower hit ratio)

All this gives me a much rounder perspective on a person than I would have without these resources.

Agreed, I basically follow the same process when I'm going to interact with someone professionally.

> Yes, they may see I have checked out their profile--so what?)

You can actually turn that off - it means you won't be able to see visitors to your own profile, but I don't care about that information either so I have it disabled.

> You can actually turn that off

I actually like to see who has looked at me (I guess it is an ego thing), but yes, that's a good point.

Speaking of ego, one of the developers I worked with recently said, jokingly, that LinkedIn is where she goes when she's feeling down, because she has recruiters contacting her all the time (she has a number of years of Angular experience).

My feeling is that you have to compare it with other sites in the same category. If you do that, I think it comes away looking really, really good. Pretty much everyone is on it, it does the things you listed, and the level of bs compared to any other site in the category is actually low, in my opinion.

Caveat: I'm unfamiliar with the US/EU status quo for this category; maybe there are better options in those markets?

I find a combination of attending meetups, having a personal website, and contributing to StackOverflow to be much more effective than LinkedIn. There's less spam, because the people and jobs are much more interesting.

Your mileage may vary, but as a WASPish male mid-level dev based in London, this is true for me. I can appreciate that people outside that circle may get more value from LinkedIn.

I have an (admittedly not very active) account on SO (1400 karma), but over the years I've only received one job offer via SO.

LinkedIn on the other hand gets me maybe one offer per month on average.

I also have a blog at http://henrikwarne.com/ but I have never received any job offers via it.

I go to very few meet-ups, but the ones I've been to have never generated any offers. So in my experience, LinkedIn wins hands down in that respect (I'm in Stockholm, Sweden).

I don't think he's saying that the webpage attracts job offers, just that by having an easy to find presence online, people are able to find him.

Exactly. I have had a few cold interview offers through StackOverflow, even fewer from my website. But after meeting people at events, they check my website, and in some cases this leads to further discussion. The 'spam-vs-interesting' ratio of those discussions is much better compared to what I used to get when I had a LinkedIn account.

For developers specifically, I feel like Stack Overflow Careers our jobs or whatever) is about a million times better than LinkedIn, but it doesn't have the social aspect, I guess.

Haven't used it while looking for a job, but we've used SO to post and have not had good luck. Craigslist yields better results for a mobile dev in Portland, and costs one tenth of SO. Additionally my business partner and I received no less than 20 unsolicited recruiter and contract services spam emails each, and I wasn't even on the job posting!

> I wasn't even on the job posting!

Maybe they found you on LinkedIn :)

I appreciate that it's not 'social'. I don't think I'd use it if it resembled a social network.

>> the level of bs compared to any other site in the category is actually low, in my opinion

I remember trying to figure out how to unsubscribe to emails from (I think) careerbuilder a few years ago and it was an absolute mess.

>>> maybe there are better options in those markets?

One site that seems most nimble right now would probably be indeed. They are growing a lot particularly here in europe and are more flexible in their partnering agreements. I work at the moment for a SaaS recruiting product, and I know all the big players are a pain to work with for integrations.. just reams of red tape.

Another thing that is far more common in europe is that the job sites are much more fragmented. There are so many craigslist type sites that are driving lots of traffic that recruiters want to integrate with.

Europe is using LinkedIn as well. I don't even know about any alternatives ?

Xing is a popular alternative for the German-speaking markets.

In France Viadeo is really strong, it's probably 50/50 with LinkedIn and most people have both, I guess every country has their own local equivalent.

The problem with LinkedIn is that they have multiple, conflicting business models each of which are too successful to kill outright.

1. They have an advertising business, that sells to marketers. 2. They have a recruiting business, which sells to recruiters. 3. They have a individual (networking) business, which sells to individuals. 4. They have a sales business, which sells to sales people.

While they all have a core basic similarity (use a rich database of professional people), when it comes to monetization of this core platform, there are little conflicts that add up over time. For example, for #2, they should make it as easy and free and valuable for people to join and update their profile. But then that conflicts with #3 a little bit, because a valuable feature is looking at other people's full profiles -- but that means you can't charge for individual subscriptions. And so forth.

"I don't have one because of principles" is an excellent answer. It's the answer I give whenever someone asks me for anything social media related whether the context is social or professional. You may be surprised to hear that I've experienced zero consequences for it.

I'm slightly on the fence with this one. Often employers are looking for someone "normal" who will fit into a team in a "normal" sort of way; and having a LinkedIn account is certainly "normal" (given the number of people who have them). On the other hand, obviously some employers are looking for someone weird and exceptional, and, on that basis, are prepared to have to deal with Richard Stallman and his problems with parrots (https://groups.google.com/a/mysociety.org/forum/#!msg/mysoci...).

Secondly, you absolutely do not want to start ranting about "principles" or "ethics" during an interview - or being overtly negative about fairly common-place things - unless you're pretty sure they're looking for RMS and your beard is looking exceptional that day.

But, all that said, I think you could probably get out of a "Why don't you have a LinkedIn profile?" scenario in a fairly anodyne way just by saying something like, "I'll be honest, I used to have one, but I got sick of the spam."

> and his problem with parrots

from the link:

> DON'T buy a parrot figuring that it will be a fun surprise for me. To acquire a parrot is a major decision: it is likely to outlive you. If you don't know how to treat the parrot, it could be emotionally scarred and spend many decades feeling frightened and unhappy. If you buy a captured wild parrot, you will promote a cruel and devastating practice, and the parrot will be emotionally scarred before you get it. Meeting that sad animal is not an agreeable surprise.

Sounds like a valid point to me, parrots really do live forever.

I have literally never been asked about LinkedIn in an interview.

What other high school cliquey things do you expect on an interview?

I've never asked about LinkedIn in an interview. However, I do sometimes look up candidates prior to interviewing them, and admit to being slightly curious if I can't find them, although would not let it count against them. Conversely, I have also seen a few candidates look me up on LinkedIn prior to their interview, which I generally take as positive sign, because it shows they are trying to prepare.

For quite some time I was trying to get people to look at my actual resume instead of its shadow on linkedin and I couldn't get people to do it because they would google my name and the first link would be on linkedin so they would never bother to look beyond it. As soon as I closed my linkedin account all of a sudden people started looking at my actual resume and my code on github. I don't regret closing my account and forcing people to do some legwork to find my qualifications instead of doing the lazy thing and stalking on linkedin.

It's not unheard of for employers to look you up on every social media site as a quick "background check." They don't have to ask you about it in an interview for it to be relevant.

I've definitely been asked by potential clients if they can look at my LinkedIn profile to get an idea of my background and the sort of companies and projects I've worked on in the past (and I've even had clients ask that about other members of my team too).

Not at an interview, but I've certainly been asked about it in the informal social conversations that often are the precursors to eventual formal interviews, and people often seem skeptical when I say I don't have one (much in the same ways some people might react skeptically if told that someone doesn't have a github account).

Not having a github profile is fine and should raise no eyebrows same way not having a linkedin profile is fine. Resumes used to be a thing before linkedin and if someone says they don't have a resume then maybe that's an issue but otherwise it's business as usual. Similarly if a programmer has no side projects then that might or might not be a type of person you're trying to hire but github in no way is a prerequisite for having side projects which is what actually matters and is an indicator of how much a person invests in programming as a skill.

> You may be surprised to hear that I've experienced zero consequences for it.

That you know of. The most common negative response would most likely be an eye roll and going elsewhere/talking to someone else.

If someone's actually going to refuse to interact with me simply because I tell them that I don't use social media sites then well, I'm probably better off and not missing out on much.

I was referring more to taking a principled stand on LinkedIn, of all things.

Exactly this. There are times when people are talking to you but not asking for your personal philosophy. I'm prone to this particular mode of conversation (telling people the "why" or "how" when they asked about the "what"). If it's pertinent to the conversation then share it but don't talk at people about your well reasoned views or you risk being "that guy".

In this case you do have to give an explanation, because it's expected by the conformists.

You can also say, "I played around with it in the past but it's not my thing, and I don't keep it up to date" if you're worried that the recipient is going to think you're a weirdo for not participating in the latest social media fad. Works with "Are you on Facebook?" too.

Most people never believe me when I tell them Fecebook banned me for being too old. No skin off my ass, if 'social media'(sic) participation is given weight in critical decision making our values are obviously incongruent & we are better off going our own ways.

as far as you've noticed although its obviously impossible to prove a negative.

But you won't notice you've not received offers of employment on linkedin (because you don't have a linkedin account) or missed out on social events on facebook (because you don't have a facebook account - and won't necessarily see the photos/aftermath statuses etc).

But he would notice if he didn't have a job or an active social life which is the real point.


Imagine you tell me that by not joining a certain club in my town, (golf anyone?) that I’m missing out on job opportunities, social events, even marriage possibilities.

Well, yes, obviously I am not doing some of those things with my time. But I’m doing other things with my time. So in what sense am I “missing out?”

I’m only missing out if I know for fact that I would gain a deeper sense of satisfaction from those other things. And if I’m currently happy, the onus is on the person telling me that I’m missing out to prove I’d be better off joining the club.

Naturally, if my days are empty and my heart sad, that’s different. But coming back to LinkedIn, the simple fact is that lots of people who aren’t on LinkedIn think they’re doing just fine.

By that logic, you can't know that being on LinkedIn or Facebook hasn't had negative consequences for you. Perhaps companies are googling you and finding your profiles and being turned off, too!

I find LinkedIn very useful. I use it before every external meeting to get background on the others, and provide my profile to offer the same courtesy.

The frustration is that it could be so much more. They have the richest demographic of customers and the worlds best human capital map. They could be doing so much more than paid Lead Generation for salespeople and recruiters. (And this is coming from someone who has used it for both)

Agreed on all counts. I don't use it before every single meeting, but it's helpful to see who we have in common, etc.

And yes, it could have been (or could be) so much more than just recruiter-oriented. Something as basic as letting me keep notes about my relationship with someone - where did we meet, who introduced us, etc - would have made them truly indispensable to an entire generation.

It's interesting you say this, as that exact functionality got implemented very recently.


and... I went to the site and poked around before I posted that, just to make sure it wasn't already there. If it's there, it's super non-obvious, as in, I didn't see it, and I was looking for it.

From an employee's perspective, rather than contractor, I feel that it's fear that keeps me on LinkedIn.

"What if I lose out on an opportunity, or seem strange, because I'm no longer on LinkedIn?"

I nuked my LinkedIn a couple of months ago. I had the same fear, but I decided fear is is not a good guide. Looking at it rationally, I never got a position through LinkedIn and I am very happy with the positions that I got so far.

If I ever end up in a world where it's only possible to get a job using LinkedIn, I can probably recreate my profile, along with contacts, and recommendations in a week or so.

Fear is not a good guide, and this can be thought through logically. I am going to follow in your footsteps.

What's funny is the same thing works in reverse but not enough to deter completely : "what (real life) shenanigans am I attracting by hoping this isn't a total timesuck?"

Clients from LinkedIn in are way more high maintenance on average compared to StackOverflow/SE and GitHub. Maybe it's not as bad for recruiters.

Interesting, can you give an example?

Funny because I feel the same thing even if I've never gotten a job through linkedin. Even never a job interview. I think I'll delete my linkedin.

Easier is disabling your profile. You keep your contact network and but no longer appear in search results and can only be viewed by people in your network.

Easier said than done, start with email blocklist variants and spam filters for the deluge that follows.

good luck.

Probably the main reason why the poster should better continue using LinkedIn:

https://evertpot.com/resume.html 404 File not found

But the link is broken in his home page:

    If you're into that sort of thing, you could take a gander at my
    <a href="/resume.html">resume</a>.</p>

Your are correct

Point taken. Github pages changed how it handles urls starting with Jekyll 3 :/

Those articles are useful: everytime someone mentions LinkedIn, I remember to check my account.

Without them, I'd pretty much never open the site.

Except recently social networks, such as LinkedIn, takes note of any inactivity and will send periodic “enticer” emails in an attempt to increase you engagement with their site.

>will send periodic “enticer” emails

...straight to my spam folder.

Facebook is terrible for this. I thought I'd opted out of all communications, yet I still receive these enticer emails and also things about how my "business page" needs updating.

The only reason I still have a Facebook account is "in case" I ever need to contact some of those old associates or school friends (a bit like hoarding old computer parts - I might need them one day!). I still have a LinkedIn account because I changed industry and thought I should at least have some way of contacting old business associates if I ever needed a way back.

Otherwise, I'd have deleted both accounts. They are of no practical use to me on a day to day basis, and I only hold on to them for a "just in case I need to contact someone" situation.

You can deactivate your Facebook account. You won't get the enticer emails and if you ever need to look up some contact info, you can just activate it again.

Or you can just message them with your email and ask for their contact info.

I did this a few years ago. Have a nice list. Never email any of them :-/

I stopped using LinkedIn for the same reasons I stopped using Facebook. It's really hurting to see your friends getting married, getting awesome jobs paying $300,000 to be a cloud engineer or whatever the fuck, or the sheer amount of entrepreneurial/business pornography that LinkedIn peons love to circle jerk.

On top of that the near non-cessant spamming from job recruiters "HEY BRO YOU WANNA JOB BRO PAY REAL GOOD", seeing ex-coworkers humble brag.

It's a cognitive dissonance at best, you expose yourself more to the non stop flow of information, you are going to get burnt out.

After quitting LinkedIn I feel great like there was a huge baggage following me around. With all these crazy shit going on around the world like people getting doxxed and swatted, I just don't feel safe to expose information voluntarily just because all the monkeys are doing it.

Monkey see, monkey do. A human may see what other humans are doing but the higher consciousness will lead to contrarian behaviors.

I remember being utterly turned off by LinkedIn when I saw two of my colleges a few years using a script to approve everyone's "skills" (or whatever they call it) everyday in order to be more popular or whatever.

I thought if everyone is just gaming it like that, the whole platform is totally worthless and even worse.

Needless to say, I now have a very minimal presence on it and never anymore link with recruiters as they will suck you dry timewise.

That skill endorsement interface is like a videogame that I play every few months. I hit the affirmative button on people I like without really looking at the skills too closely. I have to have a really low regard for someone to not just give them a skill recommendation.

It's really just a "Hey" that I'm sending to some long-lost co-worker's mailbox. Often, endorsing someone will spur a reconnection or an email conversation with that person that I otherwise might not have had.

I would never consider the linkedin skills recommendations when looking to hire someone.

I use LinkedIn (tech recruiter) daily but I have most of the features blocked.

I use my personal network or inmails (paid for by my employer) to contact people and my personal page is a landing page for developers.

I disabled the scrolling facebook like front page and I use buffer to post articles for me during the workday.

It's mostly helpful for getting job offers and generating interest in yourself. Even I get multiple recruitment messages a day so I can only imagine what developers inboxes look like. The problem for some people who haven't found it useful is most recruiters only target the young developers who look like they will be easy placements.

"The problem for some people who haven't found it useful is most recruiters only target the young developers who look like they will be easy placements."

This would explain why I seem to get more add requests/inmails than nearly anyone else I speak to. Thanks for the clarity.

I like the idea of using my LinkedIn page as a way to highlight interesting articles to spark conversation. I'm not aticvely recruiting at the moment (but I do use Linked In when I am), so I could see having already built a "community" of my peers on MY page would beuseful for both recruiting for my current team, and also any future job searches I embark on. Where did you come up with the tweaks for your own page? I'm curious if there is a tutorial for this, or if you just kind of stumbled on to it? I did a little search for "linkedin disable scrolling", hoping to fin a MySpace style skinning tutorial, compelte with embedded HTML, but had no such luck.

I actually asked someone here on Hackernews and they let me know its fairly easy to block the scrolling function of LI's homepage by using uBlock.

I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn (3 hours on average a day) and early in my career when I was avoiding making cold calls I found what made other peoples LinkedIn profiles stand out and copied them. Now my profile is a personalized and tweaked version of the 100's of interesting profiles I've viewed.

I do a lot of profile optimization internally for my company and team but I have thought about making some type of public guide or offering a service but it seems like there is no good way to edit or suggest edits to a profile without actually logging into someones account and that raises obvious recruit risks for most people.

However If your interested I can send you the powerpoint deck I use to give meeting on this topic.

I never understood the criticism of LinkedIn. It's the least intrusive of all the networks I am in and probably the most valuable when I look at who it gives men access to and it allows others who look for someone like me to find me.

I've been on linkedin almost from day one and I still haven't found anything even remotely comparable to Linkedin in value. It's like the google of professional networks. Sure you can use other networks that will make you feel like you are missing something.

" It's the least intrusive of all the networks"

Are you joking? I've never been on LinkedIn and still get spam from it constantly (though less nowadays than few years back).

No I am not joking.

I don't get any spam from them. I get info on messages, people viewing my profile and things like that. This is actually stuff I want.

Besides that I don't get any spam from them.

Have you tried using the "unsubscribe" button?

Why should people "unsubscribe" from email they didn't explicitly sign up for?

So they hopefully stop getting it.

Or they confirm the email address is live and they get lots more?

Standard advice for years has been don't unsub from email you haven't subbed to.

For actual spammers yes. Linkedin isn't a spammer in that category.

Linkedin is sending bulk email to people who have not opted in and who have not confirmed the opt in.

That's pretty much the definition of spam. It's unsolicited, it's bulk, it's email.

Yes but the question was whether you had opted out.

I haven't seen anyone claiming Linkedin keeps sending after that but I might be wrong.

By clicking links on spam emails? No, thanks.

I have been a linkedin user for about 10 years as well. Here are my thoughts:

Useful parts of linkedin (not that many):

- Ability to connect with people you have worked with and keeping in touch with them. Knowing who is doing what profesionally in your circle. This is useful if you know how to use the network to your advantage.

- Decent Job offers from good recruiters once in a while (very rare but it does happen). I call this "Good Recruiter spam"

Things that suck about linkedin:

- Endorsements

- Horrible UI and dark patterns.

- Bad recruiter spam. Basically the generic copy/paste messages or my favorite "I would like to connect with you on linkedin" generic message when trying to connect. Really ? You want to connect with a stranger but cannot bother writing why ?

- Groups (just another way of spam)

- The "App" spam on mobile phones. No linkedin, I don't want to use the App. Let me open linkedin.com ON mobile. there is such a thing right ?

I read a lot about recruiter spam but don't personally receive much of it. Most recruiters who contact me have reviewed my profile and present a job opening that aligns with my skills. Granted, I've never actually taken a job presented by a recruiter, but don't receive so many off-base contacts that I find them any sort of burden.

I'm not longer a developer, however, so I do wonder how much of the spam is concentrated just of filling technology positions. Dev positions are not easy to fill in just about any U.S. market, so it makes sense why they'd be so aggressively sought after.

A candidate with active LinkedIn profile can be seen unfavourable in many industries as peeps spill too many details of projects in order to glorify their profile, one can learn a lot about competitors ways of working and technology just by reading employee profiles. Not on LinkedIn, one headache saved...

I feel bad for those people who don't know how to turn off email notifications from LinkedIn, either by having their email client remove them or by some setting on LinkedIn.

We often forgot the burden of online life of those without technical skills. Imagine having all those LinkedIn mails end up in your inbox.

I realised yesterday that its been almost exactly ten years since I stopped using LinkedIn!

> My only issue is that I feel, as an independent contractor, I’m obligated to maximize my potential in acquiring new customers.

I don't know if it's an obligation, I think it doen't become suddenly okay to spam people whenever it's in your interest.

I've found LinkedIn to be very useful for keeping track of former teachers and managers. For example, a tutor who helped me a great deal in 1980 is now the head of his department and I have watched the slow but steady decline of a former manager who was a real challenge to work with.

I also use it to keep track of former colleagues who were difficult to work with and avoid applying for jobs where they are working now. Even if I don't end up working with them again, it's an indication to me that those companies have a defective HR department so they've probably hired other difficult people too.

I left LinkedIn 10 years ago. I'm still receiving emails.

I've never been on LinkedIn and I received email from them harvesting other peoples' address books, and nothing short of shouting at them made them stop.

Is "here's my resume, I'm not on linked-in" really not good enough for some people? I've not encountered any problems with it. If asked why, the "dark patterns" page can be mentioned.

LinkedIn was never good.

No seriously, I remember reading articles about their shady behaviour from the very beginning. They were never useful for any kind of social interaction and from as far as I remember, their website was terrible.

I can't even remember at this point how long ago I deleted my linkedin profile; it was never anything more than a spam factory in my experience. What surprises me is not that they're still terrible, but that they are still - somehow, years later, despite seemingly everyone in the industry knowing they are a complete waste of time - not yet out of business.

It's most astonishing to me that anyone even still uses LinkedIn.

I deleted my account 5 years ago and my career didn't suddenly grind to a halt. Nobody has ever even asked me once for a LinkedIn profile nor turned me down for a job because I didn't have one. I must live in a different bubble from all the people in this thread insisting that it's a requirement at every turn in their lives.

Someone should make a linkedin clone that isn't shit.

Honestly if LinkedIn with all of their money and resources have failed to work out how not to be shit I doubt anybody is going to succeed.

I think your counter-point almost shines a light on the approach that might actually work / not-be-shit: Spend time and resources on product functionality as goal #1, not monetization, for a lean, effective information platform.

There is Viadeo (http://fr.viadeo.com) in Europe, in particular in France, but it is not so much better.

Last paragraph is most salient. LinkedIn is an inadvertently maimed social construct, the (soon to be) missing link between a resume or cv and whatever comes next.

Facebook can be opted out of without THAT long of a sidelong glance because it's an overlay of something more temporary in life - a yearbook, or little black book.

Just try saying to a prospective client/recruiter "oh, having a resume/cv is for the naive unwashed masses" ... because that's what most would hear.. the rest will probably be the best candidates ever (if they sincerely agree)

I totally agree with you, except for the "not leaving LinkedIn" part. I closed my account about 1 year ago after having to deal with spam, bad UI, and useless connections.

Also removing your profile from the network is a bad use experience: I had to send a customer support request to close it because I had more than 500 connections.

I think that I will build something in the near future because I like the idea of collecting connections and achievements concerning my professional career, but I'll never use LinkedIn again.

I also shut down my LinkedIn account. While I was using it, I was never able to get it to completely stop sending me emails. My workaround was to create a filter in Gmail to immediately toss anything from LinkedIn. After a few years of this and recruiter spam on the site itself, I decided it wasn't worth it. Dark patterns, privacy concerns, spam, and worthless recruiters - why bother?

As an additional bonus, I can now view some people's LinkedIn accounts without giving myself away. So I get to look people up without any of the downsides. I guess this benefit will disappear if people start to abandon LinkedIn, but for now it's nice to be able to creep on people anonymously.

I hate using it. I’m a Junior Dev and I get about 10x the amount of recruiter and random adds than I did at my last job finding start-up dealflow for an investment platform.

The issue is they built a revenue model that rewards quantity over quality for content and that prioritises recruiter and sales lead generation over individuals using it to keep in touch with their professional network. I’ve never used it to find or move jobs.

I was trying to think about how they might be able to reverse the spam factory it’s become and I don’t think it’s possible without a different revenue model.

I’d be interested to see if they start to move towards the ‘Linkedin Qualifications’ platform idea - if you use Linkedin for e-learning it would give you a reason to use the site every day, you would be tied in as you not only display your existing qualifications there but they also award them and it would let them generate revenue from users (charging for the courses) without the reliance on the premium ‘here you can spam people’ accounts.

This opinion piece on Tech Crunch nails why this happens is pretty accurate too > http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/23/linkedin-problems-run-deepe...

I've always thought that LinkedIn really does not have "market fit" and could be so much more of a professional tool and resource. It's like LinkedIn is stuck in an old paradigm of social networking and can't find a way to move forward and innovate or see a path forward.

Maybe that's why they are having such a difficult time and are hitting a wall and the stock took a dive.

I still find amusing how much faith people put into LinkedIn. I gave myself some (very) fake awards, and yet I had people come up to me and ask about them. I also tried to get people to endorse me for procrastination, but couldn't find a contact willing to use their account for something not 100% business.

I have no idea how they managed to get such a high reputation.

My brother endorsed me on LinkedIn for Git. I'm about 90% sure he wasn't talking about version control.

I've been wanting to put "Time's Person of the Year 2006" as an award for a while now. Though, if I thought of it, I'm sure it's not exactly original.

"I also tried to get people to endorse me for procrastination"

I will.

The right answer is "I've been meaning to endorse you but I've been really busy and I'll get to it real soon now".

Speaking of procrastination, the original author should consider that procrastinating is observationally the same as not using. The original author is of the strange binary opinion that having an account means having to use the service. There's nothing wrong with setting up an account then basically abandoning it. Thus no weird interview discussions about "no account". I'm part of the post-FB, post-linkedin, post-twitter generation and I don't use those services more than once a year or so, but I do have accounts specifically designed and curated for the amusement of older HR-types. Aside from social media job descriptions, no interview ever ended early because "I don't goof off online very much". So set up the account and procrastinate at using it.

My favorite part is when people endorse me for stuff I am sure they have never seen me do. Most of my endorsements are waaay outside of my core skills which just makes the whole skill thing look really silly.

Sorry I haven't got round to doing this yet.

I still have two requests that are invisible and can't be removed. They been there since the start. Pretty much says it all.

Depressingly I thought to quickly compare how long my account has been active ... on a mobile what should have been a quick check resulted in an invitation to install an application (no thanks), a request for info on my education (no thanks), and some suggestions on who I may know and wish to bother.

Still couldn't find the account inception date. Gave up.

LinkedIn is awesome. Every great biz opportunity in the last 10 years has come from it.

My only comment is they could do better by cutting down on recruiter spam and poorly thought out sales pitches.

Just increase the amount of money to send unsolicited emails, especially to more senior people.

Maybe they could have a chat with Amazon as well. Those people abuse LinkedIn way too much.

I get several legitimate job hits a month from various recruiters... I kind of like to keep linked-in current and updated just in case my industry folds again... makes it quick and easy to ping the dozen or so hungry recruiters and get myself placed elsewhere.

Reading this, I wondered how long I've been on LinkedIn. I hardly ever use it, so I surfed over to find out.

Oh. My. God. This site is like visiting GoDaddy to try to buy a domain, except worse. It's almost entirely dark patterns. Every time I clicked anything, the file upload dialog on my computer popped up.

Now I'm really conflicted about continuing to use it. Seems like I'm stuck -- been on almost 11 years now, and I've built up quite a network. But who wants to put up with that kind of suck? What kinds of professionals would use it regularly? It's not very reassuring.

Oh another HN post hating on LinkedIn/twitter/fb? How original.

I can bear with the bad UI and the dark patterns but I'm more and more baffled by the stream of junk that my news-feed has become. I know that it depends on who I add and who I (un)follow but I have little time to be picky or manually curate content I want to see, like most people on HN I presume, and this gives me a very bad impression of tech recruiters and LinkedIn itself, the same way I've lost hope in getting anything worthwhile from my FB news-feed.

LinkedIn is good if you ignore the "news feed".

Use the contact list, because people update their contact info, you can contact all acquaintances easily without having to keep track of their contact info yourself.

Keep your resume up to date. Looking for a job, somebody asks you for your resume? Point the to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn helped me make a career move. I am using it for my next move. Recruiters should be looking into stackoverflow careers as it showcases the real you.

I don't really understand the hate towards LinkedIn. I've connected with a lot of companies on LinkedIn. Even had LinkedIn itself, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft reach out to me with job opportunities on LinkedIn. Yes they employ dodgy UI practices but the service they provide has been invaluable with little to no effort on my part.

I deleted all endorsements, posts and removed all friends and follows about a year ago when they announced they were making it harder to get your data out of the Linkedin network. I created another throwaway account with a different email just so I could view peoples full profiles.

Haven't regretted it.

I'ts just a spam machine for me, all I seem to get are "are you or anyone in your network looking for a job" communications.

That plus the fact I have to be ever so careful to never hit that "search for contacts in email" button that randomly pops up

LinkedIn is not that bad. Indeed it is very useful. I was contacted by many head hunters on LinkedIn and got jobs. (But I got no response when I apply for positions on LinkedIn.) LinkedIn is really a good place for head hunters.

I quit linkedin back in 2012 when they got hacked and lost people's passwords.

I am constantly surprised that Facebook doesn't get in LinkedIn business and destroy them completely.

Resume builder seems like a feature away.

Who is building an alternative to LinkedIn?

So everyone agrees LinkedIn is shit and should be abandoned if only because every clickable icon in there is booby-trapped, yet the consensus seems to be "I'll keep using it because peer pressure and network"?

Apt summary of the perverse aspects of the so-called "network effect" if i've ever saw one...

Everyone in this thread acts like LinkedIn doesn't know exactly how bad they are.

They are the perfect amount of bad for the sake of their business: Their minefield of garbage makes them loads of money, but it's not so bad that a successor can unseat it (ie not at MySpace levels).

LinkedIn does a fantastic job of living on that edge. If they keep being shitty but not super shitty, they'll continue to win.

Meh, I for one deleted (not just disabled) my linked in a few months ago. I realized I never made any connections on there that served me in any way. The shit wasn't bad enough to stop me from signing up, but after years it accumulated enough to make me leave.

If other developers like myself leave, then the recruiters who pay premium to be able to spam developers like myself will leave to. Then the model collapses.

In fact, the apps that don't bullshit me are the ones I use most (gmail, hn, craigslist, podcast websites).

I suspect the next successful business network will be more compartmentalized by industry. Sort of like how github is more or less becoming a business network for developers.

I guess, considering how much their valuation has tanked recently, that they are not the perfect amount of bad for the sake of their business.

There are many apps like this;

Skype, Whatsapp, Twitter, LinkedIn are come to my mind (a few of my personal list), heck even Flash & Java Runtime (same problem different field). For the lack of better and popular alternative we have to stick with these. LinkedIn being on of the prime examples.

Twitter on the other hand has a different problem, solutions such as FriendFeed was a much better, almost by all means compared to Twitter (you could actually have a sensible conversation and while keeping almost all the benefits of Twitter) yet it didn't make people to switch from Twitter. Later acquired by Facebook, so I guess they succeeded.

twitter and whatsapp may have shortcomings but I wouldn't put them in the same category as Skype and LinkedIn which a madnessfest.

Skype on the Mac is pretty serene.

I looked at my coworker's Windows Skype and was amazed to find a blinking advertisement he couldn't remove - did it by moving that area of the window offscreen.

Whatsapp doesn't deserve to be in that group... yet. Whatsapp was actually very good three years ago (good as in, I could just text without the interface annoying the fuck out of me). The last few updates have made it noticeably worse though.

How so? It seems to work pretty well for texting.

Sometimes, you might want to call somebody, and instead of leaving the app and opening phone/contacts, I used to click on the little phone icon in Whatsapp. If I do that now, it'll initiate a WhatsApp call, which sometimes works, but most of the time doesn't. If there was at least an option to select mobile, or WhatsApp calls... Furthermore, the only way to initiate a new conservation is by adding a new contact. In order to do that, I need to also upload all my contacts to WhatsApp. If my teachers wouldn't rely on us having WhatsApp (!!!), I'd probably ditch it at once...

Absolutely agree with that, the call option is annoying as hell. And they are adding more and more pointless features that benefit maybe 0.001% of the users.

Best example is now the ability to send PDFs. Making this the first button on the sent menu will totally make me want to use Whatsapp for all my document handling activities.

0,001% of the users is probably not accurate. I've used it for long distance calls every now and then, and if both are on WiFi or LTE, it works well enough. In reality, however, I'm never on LTE (because it is way too expensive) and seldom on WiFi.

When you get a message, it used to show it right on the screen, you don't have to launch the app (like text message). Now they just show the notification. I am not sure if there is a way to get the old style back, I am too lazy to experiment.

This is similar to those stupid emails which would force users to click through, login and then read the message instead of just including the message itself in the email. Which to me is insane.

It's a devil's bargain. The value is in the network, so the real job of the tool is to be as frictionless and low overhead as possible. Conventional wisdom says you can't build a business model around that, so you get products that become bloated with overhead for the end user.

Hmm I'm in marketing/sales and spend a lot on LinkedIn. That's a simple business decision because it saves me time and makes way more than it costs. The more friction and anti-user crap they have, the weaker that business case becomes as it a) slows me down and b) hinders activity and growth of the network. They have great business models around very highly targeted ads, sales prospecting, market intelligence, and recruitment - each of which are highly monetizable in their own right. I don't really see how a killer app for any of those would be improved by bloat.

It might be the same reason why people are still using Yelp

I felt the same about ICQ in 2008.

Surely you mean 1998...

In fact, there was a pretty good recent article on this phenomenon of "social pressure" (and how Slack, Facebook, Whatsapp etc. leverage it): https://medium.com/@satyavh/the-real-reason-slack-became-a-b...

How do we tangibly and realistically, consciously reverse the effect?

Usually an alternative comes along and over the course of a few years, everybody switches. Then that new one has its ten years.

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