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LinkedIn has lost its vision (sworddance.com)
129 points by pm24601 on March 26, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 105 comments

The problem is that LinkedIn got sucked into serving one very specific demographic: recruiters.

It would be as if Facebook decided to focus obsessively on serving college students. It's a good initial strategy, but eventually you have to serve bigger markets.

If I were in charge at LinkedIn I'd focus it on becoming the number one place for professionals to exchange information, create and manage events, and connect with like minded colleagues.

There's a huge potential in this because most professions don't have particularly good online social networks. Oftentimes they're old fashioned discussion boards behind paywalls, comments sections of popular blogs and other half-ass solutions.

Interestingly, my vision really wouldn't do much for software engineers and developers. I think StackOverflow, meetups, and other resources already provide this.

It boggles my mind that they didn't take this route and instead they became the social network for the unemployed as another commenter aptly described them.

It's a business school case study waiting to be written.

    create and manage events
I only created my LinkedIn account because our major supplier (before they recently got acquired) used LinkedIn to run "round table" type events, and O were often invited to talk about the product.

In the interest of playing nice with the supplier I played along, but it was always a horrible experience. You don't realise how far from "real time" LinkedIn is until you're in a Skype chat, two people are discussing a question and the rest of the room is complaining it hasn't rendered for them yet. Not for seconds.. minutes. Eventually you would end up with statements I made at the end rendering right at the top with people then replying stating they can't understand what I said without any context.

People were obviously interested in using it for these sorts of events but there seemed to be no interest in making it a tolerable experience.

That is a problem. When I first joined Linkedin, one of the first questions I asked openly was about the difference between "pass by value" vs. "pass by reference". There were some good people in those forums.

Over time, I'd get all these tech recruiters whom I've never worked with in any context yet wanted me to be networked with them. A few I said yes to though I never felt very good about it.

As Linkedin requests by Linkedin and email got more obnoxious, I became less and less inclined to have any honest technical discussions that would expose my ignorance to a more and more recruiter-centric audience. I felt better posing those kinds of questions on StackOverflow or even Reddit than I would on Linkedin.

Eventually, I did delete my Linkedin account completely. It's funny. Even unemployed, I don't miss it at all.

LinkedIn went through phases every 18 months or so of switching schizophrenically between "Our problem is lack of engagement, we need new features to entice our userbase to come back on a daily basis" and "Our problem is lack of focus, we are going to kill a bunch of features and return to our core competency".

Nothing ever shipped to break that cycle.

How would that make money? I mean profits not revenue.

Ha. Good question, I didn't think anyone thought about profits any more.

Seriously, I'm assuming the same ad driven model that has made Facebook profitable would work for a professional network to.

I know I have personally clicked on ads that are related to my profession. I'm far, far more tolerant (even accepting) of B2B advertising than I am of B2C.

It's tricky though. They would have to be careful not to turn it into a pure marketing play. There would have to be safeguards against that.

The key is they would have to keep their eye on the main value proposition:

Becoming the number one way professionals connect with the idea, events, and people who can help them do their jobs better.

I really like this comment. Now that you mention it, I feel the same way about B2B ads. I wonder if there are studies about that.

And would that be similarly profitable to their current premium account model? (Mainly bought by recruiters, hence the target audience)

And how is that different from Facebook? I'm not being a troll. Just exploring your thoughts.

In the same way Ravelry is different from Facebook.

I hadn't even heard of Ravelry. Thanks to your comment, I'll check it out. :)

Thanks for going to the effort and checking it out.

For other people who don't know (and don't want to make the effort): my argument was that special purpose social networking sites can do well. Even if with a bit of hacking (and `apps') you could replicate most of their functionality on Facebook.

Ravelry is for knitting and associated crafts.

As you can see, their current strategy is on a trend for not making any money at all. Personally I abhor LinkedIn, use it sparingly when I'm looking for work and wish it were deactivated the rest of the time.

People spend more time on the website -> more ads shown

Ads deliver many times less money than paid subscriptions from recruiters.

They don't have to stop generating revenue from recruiters, it just wouldn't be their focus if they went in this other direction.

Recruiters are advertisers! Recruiters pay LinkedIn to show messages to users.

I think Jobcase is trying to fill the job-related market niche for non-IT professionals. I personally find LinkedIn useful as companies and jobs reconnaissance tool.

Vision or not, they have exceptional engineering talent able to draw conclusions about who my ex girlfriends are from 20 years ago and suggest I connect with them.

Or somehow to draw conclusions about who I communicated with on an anonymous dating site and suggest I connect with them.

I'm looking forward to the day that as I walk down the street wearing my Augmented Reality glasses, LinkedIn transparently identifies the faces of the passing people and suggests that I connect to each long lost deeply valued relationship, or suggests I connect to the person walking past who has been stalking me online after I went on one date with them and hated them. Viva LinkedIn!

If "being creepy" is their core business model then they are a great success!

Linkedin is just a sum of so many dark patters...

I mean really, take Facebook. Does it suck in some ways? Yes. Does it set the privacy defaults a bit more lenient than my own preferences? Sure.. but I use it and I've found it trivially easy to grasp some of its privacy basics, and set the settings according to my wishes, such that it's usable within my privacy wishes. Further, they've at various times prompted me to look into my privacy settings. All of this has been under enormous scrutiny and pressure, they're no saints... but for me it's a reasonable product in my own experience. If need be, I wouldn't feel bad about closing my FB account because it'd mean FB just wasn't for me, rather than FB is trying to screw me left and right and I need to get out.

Linkedin is very much unlike that, every interaction I have with it says 'close your account because you don't know what the hell Linkedin is doing', and I've not logged on in at least half a year because I fear what kind of alerts and notifications they'll send to my network on the basis of me visiting a few pages there. Like when I turned off 'see who visited my profile', so that I could turn off 'let people see I visited their profile'. A few days later I check my best friends' linkedin because I was updating mine and looking for inspiration, and he jokingly messages me I'm stalking him on linkedin. I couldn't care less he saw that, he's my best friend, but what the f, I just turned that feature off? It's just an accumulation of stuff like that where I've completely lost my trust.

> If "being creepy" is their core business model then they are a great success!

Totally my experience. And I'm even one of those people who's pretty good at bs options, like a tiny remark that give permission for linkedin to email your entire gmail contact list (i.e. anyone you ever conversed with, like say a guy from craigslist you bought a fishbowl from 7 years ago). Even then I feel like Linkedin is just screwing me in broad daylight while I'm paying my utmost attention.

If I might summarize your on-point comment with what came to mind when I went to go accept an invite from an ex-colleague who I like: LinkedIn has gotten to the point that I'm afraid to click anything on their site.

I normally avoid LinkedIn, and I was reminded why: before I click on anything, I wonder "what are the potential consequences of this? If I click "Accept", what other unspoken contracts am I agreeing to, such as all of my connections being notified that I'm now connected to Chellsea?"

It then occurred to me that maybe I should not use web sites that make me feel that way. Yeah, I'm a little behind the curve sometimes. But whether I'm the customer or recruiters are, I don't see how that's a sustainable business long-term.

Yeah, they actually sell the ability to see who visited your page even if they have privacy turned on.

So create a second profile... (I get that you might naturally expect/want that you could use your main profile with some special bit set, but given that the workaround is so trivial, the pragmatist in me has trouble working up a lot of anger over it.)

It's more the violation of trust (also trust in reliability and predictability) that annoys people.

Or just don’t create a profile in the first place?

Wow, well done dude. That very much nails it (really). :D

LinkedIn is kind of like... troll food.

Or maybe the other part told.

Perhaps true.

Surely it would be too creepy to exploit every bit of information available to suggest connections?

No, not too creepy! At LinkedIn if someone searches for you then OBVIOUSLY you MUST know them and want to connect! The clever LinkedIn engineers think "Let's offer a connection to the target of a search for the search originator - that's an engineering challenge, not a complete invasion of privacy creep out."

That would be my guess: former girlfriend running a search to compare what became of you with their current husband. :D

So negative... yet so accurate. :D

They just scanned your mailbox, stupid.

Or somebody else's mailbox (that he at any time in the past happened to send or receive mail from at an address that is either the one LinkedIn has as his main email, or one it has correlated as the same person), which is the real problem.

I can keep LinkedIn out of my mailbox, I can't keep them out of the mailbox of everybody that I have ever sent or received mail from.

LinkedIn is very creepy when it comes to just about everything, IMO.

Actually the 'monetization' of LinkedIn against non-recruiter members has really dampened my enthusiasm for the company. So many things that I used to be able to do as a member for free have been cut off. I got a chance to talk to someone about that and their off the record comment was that two things had happened, first recruiters were using their own profiles to do research rather than using the tools that LinkedIn tried to sell them, and two when they restricted access they found their "meat" members started paying for the service of knowing things like "who looked at my profile." Win win! sort of.

The interesting thing was this trick, a recruiter creates a fake profile that has the same characteristics of a candidate they are trying to place. They wait for the LinkedIn AI scripts to send their fake profile a list of companies that are looking for people like that fake profile (and thus their actual client) and then they are spamming those companies HR/Jobs/other emails to try to get their candidate in front of the company So much easier than trying to lie your way into figuring out who was hiring and for what.

>Actually the 'monetization' of LinkedIn against non-recruiter members has really dampened my enthusiasm for the company.

This is a good way to put something that's been bothering me for a while now: I get that in most "free" websites, I'm the product, not the customer -- but LinkedIn seems to almost go out of their way to remind me of this.

Recruiters can shotgun messages out to anyone who's ever mentioned "Node" in their profile, but I wanted to send ONE message to someone to whom I wasn't connected and found I wasn't allowed -- without paying, of course. LinkedIn isn't even for me.

It seems crazy, but pretty damning evidence of that gong on discussed here


That is pretty funny. Clearly you could search for every profile that had a picture from a stock photo on it and turn up a bunch of fakes.

The thing for me personally, is after some of their past behavior I just don't trust them enough to use the site regularly. I'm thinking specifically of their extremely aggressive and manipulative attempts to gain access to your email contacts and spam people you know. While I'm not specifically worried about that one specific thing, the fact that they were willing to do something like that makes me think they're willing to do other things I'd disagree with. When it's your professional reputation and contacts at stake it just feels a little bit too risky to use it regularly.

That said, it really is a useful tool for keeping track of where people have gone and what they're presently up to, I just can't imagine ever using it regularly when I don't entirely trust them.

LinkedIn is great: everyone you want to connect with is not active on the platform and everyone you don't want to connect with is very active.

Linkedin has become a creepy social network, with those hundreds of headhunters trying to build their database and mostly spamming you with worse and worse offers, with those creepy notifications that "somebody has visited your profile", looking more like average dating site more than something professional.

Yes, it seems that LinkedIn is lacking a vision on how to make looking for a job a better experience.

Linked in employees probably can't update their profile without attracting unwanted attention from managers who will hound them about "why are you leaving?!?!" and hence, you know everything you need to.

Does that happen at LinkedIn, or are you just assuming? It sounds a little weird, actually. Why would a manager get agitated about one of his/her people actually updating their skills on their very own site?

I'd be suspicious if someone was not updating their profile at least once or twice a year.

Though, in practice, I would just avoid managerial stalking of my employees. So what if someone's keeping their profile up to date? So what if they're checking out the market regularly. We all do it. You'd be a fool not to.

I'm totally speculating. I don't know.

> Why would a manager get agitated about one of his/her people actually updating their skills on their very own site?

Dysfunction is prevalent everywhere in the world. LinkedIn isn't somehow magically exempt because they own the product.

I don't get why updating your profile is associated to "looking for a job". For me it's good to have the profile in a good shape since it can create leads.

Yeah, I update my linkedin profile pretty constantly, as well as the resume on my website. I like to think this causes someone in HR conniptions on a regular basis.

They should probably rebrand as SpammedIn. The only people I hear from there are recruiters, and not very good ones as they don't even seem to bother to read my profile. I occasionally find its useful for tracking down people I want to get in touch with, though I can usually find their email pretty easily via other means. It's sad, because it could have been a really useful tool for networking and exchanging information.

As an employer, I posted a job ad a couple weeks ago, paid a few hundred dollars, and got 2 non-qualified applicants. Many of my 'connections' (friends) saw the posting and clicked the job posting...and LinkedIn reported these ads views (making me think my posting was more popular than it actually was). Needless to say, it was a learning experience and I'll be sticking to Indeed. I'd short LNKD...

> Earlier in 2016, LinkedIn lost its bloom. A year ago LNKD was at $269, today it is at $110. What happened?

This: https://www.google.com/finance?chdnp=1&chdd=1&chds=1&chdv=1&...

Not very informative to plot a price chart in isolation, without any kind of comparison to the sector or broader stock market...

If you think LinkedIn is in the same sector as Facebook, maybe. I find the comparison with Monster far more telling.

What did I miss about these well correlated drops? What happened to both companies to cause these losses? I am genuinely curious as I don't really follow these 2 companies.

The year started with a surge in recession fears. In a recession, employers reduce hiring, so it makes sense that companies offering professional recruitment services would be particularly affected.

Haven't updated my LinkedIn profile for a long time, and I get friended all the time by strangers and I don't even know if it makes any sense, but I just accept them... How do you use LinkedIn? Please share your ways...

I accept only people I know, but my bar is lower than my bar on Facebook. Basically anyone I've (or could have) exchanged business cards with is ok.

I actually find LinkedIn very useful, and am kind of baffled by people who say they find zero value in it. I do find many of their practices annoying; it's far from perfect. And I agree with a lot in the article. But I've been working for 20 years, and having a reasonably complete way to search all of my former co-workers, and where they currently work is amazingly powerful. Whenever I am thinking of applying to a job at some company, I can spend 30 seconds looking on LinkedIn to see if I already know someone inside (which not only drastically improves my chances of getting an interview, but also can yield much more candid information about what it's like to work there). Similarly, if I need a professional contact at some company to solve a problem at work, my LinkedIn account is hugely useful.

This might be skewed by the fact that I've worked in some pretty big-name companies, so I have a large network of other people who tend to work at well-known places. But I basically view it as an automatically updating and easily searchable rolodex. And it works great for that.

> Whenever I am thinking of applying to a job at some company, I can spend 30 seconds looking on LinkedIn to see if I already know someone inside...


I also think that LinkedIn is good for references. When I get an application for an open job and want to get further background, I use two tools: LinkedIn and Google.

And when I hear about an interesting company that I may want to work for, I use two tools: LinkedIn and Google.

I haven't updated mine in several years, especially employment history (this one step reduced recruiter spam for me to almost nothing). I use LinkedIn entirely as a "research tool" to find connections into companies, or to keep up with previous coworkers current employers. I only accept invitations from people I (a) know personally, (b) have done business with, or (c) see a potential business relationship evolving.

I recently registered a domain on GoDaddy (I know of all places) and within 12 hours had over 30 requests on LinkedIn from developers looking to sell their services to me. If anything it is a good upsell for GoDaddy by forcing your hand at WhoIs Guard.

Similarly it does seem that installing the LinkedIn app on your phone spies on who you call/contact/look at online which translates into recommendations. A few months ago I had someone give me their business card and I called them the next day to follow up. I had not entered any of their details in my contacts or emailed them prior. After the call I went to connect with them on LinkedIn and sure enough the first person in the "People You May Know" section was this person.

Well, that alone should convince anyone with a technical/IT bent to absolutely avoid GoDaddy. Most already know this, but that's further re-enforcement.

I normally try to avoid GoDaddy but had a one-off reason I needed to do this for a client. Between the LinkedIn spam and the email spam from developers, I absolutely will never use GoDaddy again. This wasn't simple whois spam, by the amount alone it was evident they are reselling the information.

I endorse friends for skills they don't have to screw with them.

All of my coworkers have endorsed me for Wordpress for this same reason (to mess with me and potentially get Wordpress recruiter spam)

I like to endorse my friends for "warp drive design".

I use it as an alternative to Facebook which I stopped using shortly after I joined. My friends and co-workers are the people I look to keep in touch with, not the people I went to grade school with.

I just use it to fish for corporate recruiters to contact me.


Lost its vision? LinkedIn has felt useless for years. It's that "social network" that clogs up my inbox no matter how many times I changed the notification settings and nothing more to me.

The worst part is, those e-mails are useless. I keep getting ones informing me that there are five jobs changes in my network. I'm actually curious about who has gone where and click the link and it takes me to...well, I don't even know what I'm looking at.

Afters years of working as a freelance writer and not doing too well lately, I took a stab at getting one of those "real" jobs which required references. I decided to look at my LinkedIn profile for the first time in ages to see who might be able to help.

I click "My Network" and get this pop-over that takes up the whole screen asking me to "grow my network" and effectively hiding the information I came for in the first place. How is this supposed to be useful?

Completely agreed. Shady practises (eg: email spam), plus dark patterns (eg presenting people who might be a connection as having actually sent a "Connection Request") have made it fundamentally a not-to-be-trusted website.

My LinkedIn profile now literally tells recruiters to Fuck Off. And still they come.

The only value it has for me, is presenting (generally) valid contact details (eg: email address) for the people I already know and whom I may have fallen out of contact with. That's not huge value though, and several times I've been seriously tempted to just remove my profile forever.

The part about the past vs the future is so true; why not ask me for a few keywords describing what I'd like to do, or not like to do?

I'd be very happy to provide that and it would be a gold mine for their paying customer, the recruiter.

Now I get tons of recruitment spam for things I wouldn't dream of doing, and the things I'd like to do but haven't yet done aren't visible anywhere.

So many missed opportunities in this product it's amazing.

OP here. Sadly, true. The sad thing is that LinkedIn has the potential to truly help its members grow their careers. Instead it is distracted by building the next Salesforce tool.

Why not write that in your summary yourself, rather than wait for LinkedIn to figure it out? It's not a finely searchable field, but at least it's there.

True, but as a feature that recruiters actually use, and that would change the entire mindset of recruiters to seach for people who want to do X, rather than people who already did X) I think it would be a valuable feature.

I haven't touched linked-in in quite a while but an idea that I would enjoy: bring all the value of the meat-world conference online.

Across each major industry vertical, it could organise say a quarterly event featuring webcasts and q&a from industry legends, moderated discussions, workshops plus all the networking and promotional activities. Bit like a MOOC but focussed on professionals not students.

It would make the networking aspect of linked-in meaningful. It shouldn't be passive rolodex, linked-in should get off their ass and actually work to help us create real new connections with people we interact with in the events and activities they host.

>LinkedIn’s own employees don’t see the value of updating their own LinkedIn profile!

Huh? It's a company of 8,000+ people, and a random screenshot of 4 profiles leads you to this conclusion? In any company of thousands you're going find at least some people that don't find utility in the product that company is creating. Surely that's obvious? You'd need to actually perform a proper statistical study to know for sure.

OP here.

Some points here:

1. I don't have access to all that data do that sort of analysis. If you have that access, run the analysis and get back to me. I was writing an opinion piece, not an academic paper.

2. The people in question are all managers and above. A good demographic of LinkedIn's sweet spot.

3. These people in question, I met personally. And each one of them expressed some variant of not seeing a personal need to update their own profile.

4. Most of my personal friends understand that they are supposed to get "something" from their LinkedIn profile - they just don't know what that "something" is.

5. LinkedIn has potential that it is wasting.

So, as an intellectual exercise, what would I want from a "perfect" LinkedIn:

- well I gotta trust it, so all of the below I cannot see LinkedIn actually doing but - become a contact manager. When did I last call / mail this person. - become a graphical network tool - show me my personal business network - and remind me who I have not called despite really wanting to

- What about? Did I promise anything? Did they? Keep reminding me of my todos

Hey Paul, we're actually working on an app that does a lot of the things you mentioned.

I shot you a quick email with a private beta invite in case you want to give it a go.

Thanks for the validation. :)


OP here. I would be interested in this as well.

LinkedIn is great for someone like my wife, who avoids Facebook as a time sink, and calls LinkedIn a "Facebook for grownups". It's been a useful way for her to connect with people without the cruft of looking at kitten pictures and what someone ate for breakfast.

I log in maybe twice a month, and that's sufficient for me. I hope it works for LinkedIn as well, because I'd like them to stay in business, but I'm happy with my level of involvement which I suspect is similar to that of many others who are also overcommitted on other networks like Facebook, Plus, Twitter, etc.

I do find myself spending more time there (i.e. staying logged on for a longer period) because of the blogging/article stream, much of which involves issues I'm interested in -- employment, technology, the markets, future trends. Truly, it is a Facebook for grownups, at least for me and my friends.

I'd rather just a big filter on Facebook and some added resume features for that. Let me create a professional profile and add professional friends to it. Add a searchable resume system and we're good.

What do all those 9k employees do?

Tbh, LinkedIn only has value if you are looking for a job. The majority of its features are nearly worthless to the general population of users.

This being the case I think there is an opportunity for a lean site with a narrow vertical [e.g. software devs which are heavily recruited by internal recruiters] to dislodge LinkedIn. Of course they'd have to solely sell your resume to recruiters. All the other revenue streams and related issues would have to be dropped.

There's a couple sites specifically catering to the software dev for hire vertical, like Hired.

Though I think software devs have a unique view of Linkedin, in that we have many other avenues for professional networking AND we are heavily recruited at all levels of experience. When the only real way to network is via mutual acquaintances (as opposed to open source projects, chat rooms, etc.) and you aren't getting spammed with every "game changing startup" Linkedin can give you real value.

> There's a couple sites specifically catering to the software dev for hire vertical, like Hired.

Yeah but honestly they are all companies I'd personally avoid and haven't been happy with.

> Though I think software devs have a unique view of Linkedin, in that we have many other avenues for professional networking AND we are heavily recruited at all levels of experience. When the only real way to network is via mutual acquaintances (as opposed to open source projects, chat rooms, etc.) and you aren't getting spammed with every "game changing startup" Linkedin can give you real value.

Yes but what value do you get out of it besides access to a network for a job search?

Exactly. I've spoken to a number of people at large co's in non tech roles that use it daily. Apparently the feed is great for keeping up with what's going on in your industry, and what your coworkers are reading / liking / commenting on. One person I spoke to said she pretty much always has LinkedIn open as a tab during work hours.

It's a social network for the unemployed.

It’s not only unemployed that are looking for jobs...

I thought that demographic went to Reddit.

> Tbh, LinkedIn only has value if you are looking for a job.

And a farm only has value when there are potatoes to harvest. But you gotta plant and tend the potatoes.

So to the extent that LinkedIn can (or can't) support it, you should look at LinkedIn or wherever as something to maintain, for the day when you are looking for a job.

That doesn't sound right.

Why should a person maintain their LinkedIn profile, if they're not actively looking? Wouldn't it make more sense to only update it when they decide to actually look for a job, and not waste time/energy/spam-dealing-with before then?

You should always be aware of industry trends to stay employable, including learning what skills recruiters are looking for. You are always one management change away from a reshuffle.

Hmmm, on a surface level that sounds "ok"-ish.

As a person working in the IT industry for more than a decade, being intimately involved with several major Open Source projects in demand, it sounds debatable (perhaps even wrong), as many in demand skills last longer than fads (eg PostgreSQL clueful-ness).

So, what you're saying doesn't sound right to me. :(

Thoughts? :)

Or generating leads. It's not just job hunters who seek out people there.

For example?

Generating leads. My example was generating sales leads.

March 28, 2016 at 2:13 am As the editor-in-chief of a management magazine (Strategy+Business, www.strategy-business.com), I have a different perspective on this.

The potential value of LinkedIn is as a vehicle for showing up professionally. Within a company, and often outside, people realize their aspirations by demonstrating what they can do distinctively.

That goes beyond having a personal brand: it involves having relationship equity, reputational equity, and competence – all of which accrue, over time, just as powerfully as interest-earning capital. LinkedIn is a vehicle for accelerating this, which is why it has value as a platform for publishing articles etc.

It's also why the spam issue is serious - to the extent it interferes with that platform.

The problem articulated here stems from a confusion between public and professional identities. They’re not the same thing. They involve different kinds of equity. A public identity requires having a reputation and presence. We need to be able to publish, critique, and show up. LinkedIn is a platform.

A professional identity requires relationships and connection. For managing relationships, we need to be able to prune and prioritize people. Avoiding spam is critical. LinkedIn is a connection point. I too use it to find people and try to contact them.

For both purposes, we need aspirational guidance, damage control (dealing with rumors etc.), and the ability to have one place where people can always find us. To the extent LinkedIn offers these transparently, it can monetize them.

It hasn’t, in my view, lost its vision. It’s grappling with the fact that its vision is complicated. And the tools are not always clear. The user interface gets in the way. Is that a trust issue - or just a user experience issue?

Thanks for posting this . I appreciated this essay and the comments. Reply

LinkedIn had... a vision? Since when?

This resonates with me. I've already been planning to delete my LinkedIn account soon. Just having it and maintaining it has more cost than it provides me value. I'm just doing a few preparation steps before I do it (basically, a transition plan, like exporting all the valuable to me information from there into something I'm happier to maintain).

LinkedIn never had a vision. They never thought big.

They should have aligned themselves with the worker bees, instead they are now synonymous with recruiters. They should have bought stackoverflow and github. I don't k is why the fuck they did not do that. Look at Facebook, it bought Instagram and whatsapp and kept itself relevant. LinkedIn failed in that aspect.

Most of us, here, understand that the site has been only marginally useful for quite some time. Well, the company I'm contracted to just did a reorg a couple weeks ago, following an major headcount reduction last fall. In a STUNNING display of Dilertonian megacorp management, we were told, in a meeting, that we shouldn't be unhappy with where we were put in the new organization, because they used our LinkedIn profiles to sort it out. So, if you don't like where you wound up, they said, you should have been keeping your your LinkedIn profile up to date. I really should just delete the whole thing. It's done absolutely nothing for me, after all these years. And, while I wasn't affected by these moves, I see that it keeping it can, actually, work against me, professionally.

A symptom of the lack of focus -- or giving up -- on the idea that people should have a reason to keep profiles up to date: acquiring Lynda.

The shift to content was already underway with Pulse et al., but purchasing Lynda indicated that LinkedIn needed to deduce interests and skills from viewing content, rather than get first-hand information from profiles.

In terms of resumes being more complete than LinkedIn, resumes let you do one thing you can't do with a public profile: scope your experience -- which is necessarily simplified to be on one page -- according to the role you're applying for.

I found a solution to recruiter spam in LinkedIn. Instead of killing my account I just deleted all the details (positions and education) from my profile. Now I connect to ex-colleges without getting a lot of spam.

I think that's the path of many companies. They have something good going but they are so overvalued that they have to grow at a much faster rate than their current market allows and so have find other ways to make money. Which in turn then often destroys their once good first product. I bet that will happen to Facebook and Google too. They better come up with something new to keep their growth going but it's really hard to find a market of the necessary size.

I've been on LinkedIn for about 10 years now. I still have no idea what it's for, or what I'm supposed to do on it. I don't even know if there's a way for me to pay to get different stuff than they show me. It clearly has an audience (every project manager I've had seems to love it), but that audience is equally clearly not me.

I don't keep my profile up to date because I don't see the value anymore. I did, once upon a time, keep it very up-to-date, but the only people who ever contacted me were headhunters for positions I had zero relevant experience for and would never be interested in.

Honestly, I wish Facebook or Plus would create a "Professional" portal with a distinct friend list and profile page and searchable resumes so we could be done with this digital albatross.

a big issue for them (as the article says) is incomplete profiles or profiles that aren't as filled out as the person's resume. i believe that is because a lot of, if not most, people embellish their resume to make what they did sound better than it actually was. you can't do that on a public profile since people will know you are bullshitting.

I haven't paid much attention to LinkedIn in years, but it used to be all "consultants".

LinkedIn has a market cap of $14 billion. Which is just wrong for a company that's been around for years and is still losing money.

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