Linked in bullcrap

I have ranted often about LinkedIn, from their desire to be a destination as often and for as much time as Facebook, a tall order indeed. Many of the people I know in Marketing are hailing it as the B2B marketing platform, praising the blogs, the opinion leaders they have recruited, and the communities that can be created.

I naturally have a LinkedIn profile, and I am a member to many of these communities that are relevant to my field, and I will admit that there are some interesting discussions. But there is a downside. First is the volume of notifications. Holy moly, my social tab of my Gmail account must get 30+ notification emails a day (I am sure there is a way to turn that off, but like facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t make things like that easy). And they are mostly lame.

Second is the amount of forum spam. Unless a group (forum/discussion/community) is moderated with a heavy hand, they quickly will get bombarded with uninvited commercial advertisements, promotions.  Worse yet are the topics for discussion. The Trolls are out there, and they will hijack threads, and dominate discussions that should be civil and courteous. There is one group that I belong to that does an awesome job of moderating. Unfortunately, with open groups, you will get people joining who are merely there to annoy and harass (or to play “sock puppet“).  Only one of the dozens of groups I belong to does a “good” job, APS Physics group. Their group is closed, so you have to ask for membership, and they vet the applicants. They moderate like hawks the posts, topics and threads, and are quick to cull bad behavior.

robocopLastly, the “suggested” people to connect to feature has become way too vague. I suspect this is related to the rise in connection requests I receive from people who I don’t know, and who really aren’t part of my professional sphere. My bet is that their pairing algorithms are set to be a wee bit too aggressive in making recommendations (how else would they have page after page of “recommendation” for every member? This leads to me getting 5 or 6 connection requests a week that are not of interest to me to add. And some are just plain ludicrous. Like the one profile that had 4 connections, a profile photo that looked like a stripper, and was listed as a “Board Director at {insert big semiconductor company name here}”. Uh, yeah, I’ll buy that for a dollar.

In general, it just feels like LinkedIn is trying too hard. Do they want to be a tool for recruiters? Do they want to be a semi formal network of professionals? Do they covet the daily eyeball share that Facebook enjoys? Do they desire to be a B2B marketing tool? I think the answer is yes, and instead of doing any one thing well, they suck at much of this.

Coda:

I did figure out how to manage the notifications, and I did greatly reduce the vast quantity of inbox filling detritus. I was right, like Facebook, they don’t make it easy.

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