My love-hate relationship with LinkedIn
It is pretty safe to say that the majority of today’s workforce is on some sort social business network. Whether your favorite network is Xing or LinkedIn – it really doesn’t matter much. All social business networks serve the same purpose, create a professional environment in which the user can present himself and get to know likeminded others.
LinkedIn has become my go to social business network. Although I had over a thousand contacts on the german xing as well, I decided to focus my full attention on just one networking platform. Besides, most of the contacts I had on Xing and LinkedIn overlapped anyway.
What I love about LinkedIn
There are only a few websites that I regularly use. I guess we all live in our little bubble that way. LinkedIn is one of my go to places to check out what others are up to. I love the (“new”) articles feature and the fact that my contact can elaborate on their activities with more than just a simple update post.
LinkedIn is not a full-fledged blogging service, but the articles on it are pretty good. Most of my contacts who publish on LinkedIn have understood that the content needs to be significantly better than that what you find on Facebook. Eventhough most are not very original when it comes to the cover image of their articles – but that is not LinkedIn’s fault.
It would be great if we would be able to search for articles a lot better than we can today
Getting into contact with others is easy. A short introductory message can really help to connect with others. The response rates are fairly good, as long as you show some genuine interest. I find that the interaction rates on LinkedIn are significantly better than on other social networks.
What I hate about LinkedIn
There are a few “but’s” here though. And they keep coming back to me. These are the reasons I continue to delete the bookmark I had set – every other 2-3 months or so.
The Spiderman-Phenomenon is a real pain in the ass. I am sure that you have all seen that one video of a guy who draws three pictures of spiderman, right? I have “told” LinkedIn on approximately 4 occassions already, that I am not interested in seeing it again. But whenever someone in my deferred network likes or comments it, there it is again. It just keeps popping back up. Facebook has similar issues like these, but they are a whole lot better at keeping my Spidies to a minimum.
One of the most annoying features of business social networks are random contact requests. I seriously do not understand why anyone would request to be connected and then not say anything. I’ve made it a habit to write every single person I add a personal message. I ask them why we should be connected and how I can help them. It’s not just sales people that have a hard time understanding the concept of a social network. The whole point of the thing is that can converse and be social on it.
Of course I understand that (some) people simply want to grow a wider audience for their content. Or pretend to know someone, to get to the next person they want to target. But LinkedIn could really step up its game here and get rid of systematic, notorious connecters who never write a single message.
Will I keep using it?
That is a tough question to ask – but I think I will. However I am contemplating using LinkedIn a little different from the way I had started using it a few years back. I think it is good platform to share high quality content for sure, not merely a digital addressbook anymore.
As for the pricing though, seriously… Don’t push it guys. It seems to get more and more expensive for regular users to be on the network. I have cancelled my premium account (again) and have gone back to the free version. I hope that LinkedIn will start to declutter the site, make it’s offer more transparent and clean up the mess that I have on my wall. Then I am sure that I’ll stick around for just a little longer.
Have a great day you guys,