Thursday, 22 May 2014

Is LinkedIn becoming another Facebook?

I have been increasingly worried about the shift in "ideology" that has been transgendering (sorry for the abuse of language) LinkedIn. What for me started as a very useful and capable platform for business making and professional networking, where one would have the chance of joining groups and discussing matters that relate to one's professional moiety, suddenly became, yet on baby steps, a fashionable social network. Not all his lost, obviously; and the problem has only started to emerge. But still is emerging and I am afraid that LinkedIn could do better in reshaping its structure/organics to a more useful and professional platform rather than playing by likes and dislikes, and the endorsing of skills some people never actually saw one putting to practice or even acquiring (just to start with).

We can find nowadays several people who complain from a number of irritating issues endogenous to LinkedIn. 

Like Ron writes in his blog "Rondam Ramblings", "a LinkedIn invitation is no different from any other cold call email unless you are absolutely positively certain that the person you want to link to, know who you are". An anonymous comentator actually very well observes that LinkedIn encourages fake, spammy connections.

It is indeed a reality that, as teriable.wordpress puts it so well, the best connected people don't need LinkedIn and LinkedIn is a lagging indicator of real connectivity, just like any other social network that uses poor filtering in relating one individual to another. But most of those using LinkedIn need networking in a professional level, not in a familiar level.

But the most appalling issues regarding the dynamics of networking through LinkedIn are, as very well explained by Michael Hurst in his H.I.M, LinkedIn notifying us of colleagues work anniversary (Christ, that's ludicrous!! We don't want that and society actually don't want that!!); the endorsing of skills works as a pay-it-forward system and I personally abominate this option. I don't remember a single time I endorsed anyone and I hate when people do endorse me, especially for skills I clearly do not master, actually disregarding some I master and have perfected to an excellent level!

LinkedIn is a powerful tool with more than 225 million members in more than 200 countries [1, 2] and its existence makes perfect sense. But where other services try to improve and correct as time goes by, LinkedIn seems to opt for the mainstream approach of becoming more popular, dumbing down their quality level to a pop-teenage set of tools and selling their soul to merchandise of spammed marketing messaging.

On the other end of the spectrum there are people using LinkedIn that use it for the wrong reasons whilst wearing the clothes of very nice individuals that will boost your career, boost your networking impact factor. I talk about something very well observed by Lib Aubuchon in her Project Eve, the exaggerated self-promotion, the exaggerated stalking of others by the system itself under spam messages that are dressed as good useful information for you to consider purchasing (down the line).

And then there's The Influencers!! Who asked for them? I didn't ask for them, you didn't ask for them, I want to block all of them narcissists. These Gurus just violate our mailboxes with their "Look where I got, read what I did, learn from me, how successful I am, I want to kiss myself in the mouth". We appreciate that there is a lot of learning to do and obtaining guidance from people who walked the walk is good if we actually ask for the talk. Uncalled for his just spamming.

There are numerous indications that LinkedIn is about to strongly irritate some good willing professionals who just want a straightforward platform for brainstorming in their area of expertise and find/offer roles for those with skills and wills in a certain professional area. I summarised them here for your collective thinking and criticism. Hope you've enjoyed.

[1] Jon Jones smArtist, LinkedIn for people who hate LinkedIn, [], last visit on the 22nd of May 2014, last update on the 6th of November 2011.

[2] Quartz, This is why I deleted my LinkedIn account, [], last visit on the 22nd of May 2014, last update on the 24th of September 2013.

Image taken from Social Recruiting Blog [].

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