I never though the day would come that I would see LinkedIn leaving it's status / ego oriented networking strategy but they have indeed (a bit).
What has changed?
LinkedIn have decided to drop a small but very important aspect of their search tool and to change it towards a new functionality. Once you try it you will no longer be able to search people and rank them towards 'amounts of contacts'. That little but most important item has led LinkedIn towards a fully status oriented network in which only numbers counted these last few years. It was probably necessary to reach a certain amount of people in the network, making it possible to switch to more quality related aspects. They finally have seen the light!
No longer the quantity oriented status-addicts on top, instead the quality of your connection will count. Probably it will still count the amount of 'recommendations' so we can expect a new 'race' there with people giving each other fake recommendations, but we can have some faith that LinkedIn will change that too now.
Sorry, but I am getting a bit emotional over this....now can we have some decent Profiling on LI as well with normal person to person direct interaction tools such as instant messaging and voice / video interactions? The ON would welcome them, naturally we have t had those on www.opennetworkers.info
for quite some time.
Is this a sign of the 'Power of Now' (Tolle). Now is the moment (red. speech Obama, this summer Berlin).
Why is this so important
LinkedIn has something no other online network has: a 'connections export' feature. So you can go to your contact list and export all of them to another network or just your outlook address book. This small little feature has given birth to the majority of new social networks online today. It has triggered a wave of 'connection oriented online behavior' and spamming that wasn't very helpfull in crreating more quality oriented online interactions. Status and quantities were more important.
Should LinkedIn change it's strategy towards the quality of connections, you can bet that this export function will have had it's last days as well and that would change the online networking scenery totally, towards having more chances for self-development instead of status oriented profiling...
Attached is a screenshot of the new search-functionality