Can Someone Please Explain to Me What Linkedin Is Doing?

I don't get it.  I truly don't understand what LinkedIn is doing.  I do know that they are gaining new members at an astounding rate EVERY DAY.  They are gaining more market share and becoming more and more invincible.  No one can compete with LinkedIn.  Google Plus tried to compete with them.  Can you say #Fail?  I tell you what else LinkedIn is doing.  They are pissing people off.

I wrote a blog post on my personal site called Why I am Growing Sick and Tired of LinkedIn.  To my surprise, I could not believe the responses.  People are growing extremely frustrated.

I think LinkedIn is in an identity crisis.  Are they a Job Board?  Are they a Networking Site?  Are they ALL about Money? Yes, Yes and Hell Yes!  They have built a monopoly.

I do not have the balls to kill my LinkedIn account like Heather Bussing did.  I have invested years and years on developing a network.  Who is to blame?  Me.  Sucka!!  They got me!  They have all of us!  

So, LinkedIn Recruiter is what it is all about?  You want me to buy your product.  Okay- I am a corporate recruiter.  I use it.  Do I use it for Inmails?  Not really.  I get names of people.  You know what though, big brother is watching what I am doing.  Just like the Police song "every breath you take, every move you make, I will be watching you".  

Oh LinkedIn.. We used to be BFF.  What happened? Spam happened. As my good friend the Recruiting Animal said, give me specifics- I will.

1) I hate the drawings, eye tests, lions- can their please be a filter?!!

2) Why in the world did you take away "Signal".  It was one of my favorite products.  I liked seeing who shared my material.  Beyond that, without "Signal" I would have never found my current job.  So- why take something away that is working?

3) Why oh why did you take away the updates on your profile?  I have no idea of knowing who shared what.

4) LinkedIn is becoming more and more like Twitter.  If you post something and you aren't at the top of the newsfeed no one will ever see it! 

5) Why do you continually make it easier to connect with people?  It seems like every 3-4 months, LinkedIn is making it more difficult to find OUT how to correspond with a connection request.  Do you just want everybody to be a second degree or 1st degree connection so you can make more money on your LinkedIn Recruiter product 

I wish they would keep moving my cheese!  How about you?

Views: 1034

Comment by Tom Bolt on May 2, 2014 at 9:21am

Great questions, Will. The entitlement mentality of our times combined push-button ease of doing anything only leads to less functionality and more spam. Those people are apparently now in charge at LinkedIn and are rewarding the bad mindset instead of improving the product. The inmates are running the asylum. Maybe your Twitter comment has a lot to do with the problem... in order to be "popular" [a.k.a. profitable] you need to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator. 

Comment by Will Thomson on May 2, 2014 at 9:46am

Thanks Tom for responding.  I love the concept of LinkedIn.  I have been on it for years.  Writing this, I know this topic has been brought up a number of times and I am not saying anything people don't know.  Your "push button" comment is right on.  I wish there were more filters.  I wish it was more of an "exclusive club"- people you know and networked with.  LinkedIn is a victim of their own success.  I don't know what the answer is, but I wish some changes would be made.  It is clear though, that they are in the Drivers Seat and can and will do whatever they want.  No one can compete.   

Comment by Steve Levy on May 4, 2014 at 2:26pm

Will...there's a funny little concept in statistics called "regression to the mean." As more people in the population dive into LinkedIn with all the fury of a career services expert, the "quality" of the population by definition will regress to the mean of the population and will therefore decrease.

The same concept happens in business - unless there are some hardcore paradigm shifters in charge. With LinkedIn, I'm not seeing them. So the product becomes more like what the average users are paying for.

As long as the quality of recruiting declines so will the proclivity of LinkedIn to pander their product to the average but fee paying recruiters and users.

Comment by Sarah Calverley on May 5, 2014 at 6:50am

Oh my gosh. I mirror your frustrations! Sharing is the main concern for me, why remove the updates section off profile?  I get these requests from colleagues etc saying, "please share my update" How?  I can never find them anymore!

I was bored BSC at the Talent Connect last week, there was no forum for feedback either. 

The question is though - if everyone is on Linkedin, how do we recruit off Linkedin? Creative sourcing only goes so far, and for the bulk of the roles I manage the person can be found easily on Linkedin.

Comment by James Ellis on May 5, 2014 at 8:58am

It's not spam, its content (well, LinkiedIn would call it content, thought I would agree its a lot closer to spam most of the time). Over at Quartz, there's a great article on why LinkedIn is so focused on building so much content.

At the same time, internally it seems like LinkedIn has hit that point where it's big enough to worry less about account number growth and more about monetizing its audiences. I mean, I don't begrudge them making a living, but when the shift is so clearly made, its as if they are begging TA pros to look else where.

Comment by Will Thomson on May 5, 2014 at 9:30am

Thanks all for your comments. 

@Steve- Wow.  What a terrific comment.  I think you are 100% correct with your "regression to the mean" comment.  I had never thought of it that way, but you could be on to something.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

@Sarah- It amazes me to see how many people- recruiters and candidates feel this way.  Between this post and my other one, I have received so many disgruntled user comments.  You are right, and your frustrations are the same as mine the bulk of the roles you look to find can be found on LinkedIn, thus- here we are and we can't go anywhere.  If someone trys to compete with them (and eventually they will) my fear is that we will have another Google Plus failure.

@James- Thank you for sharing the Quartz article.  Very interesting indeed.  Facebook is still blowing LinkedIn away.   They are obviously trying to monetize their audiences.  Thus the frustration from many of us.

Comment by Steve Levy on May 5, 2014 at 10:27am
@Sarah there are more great people off LinkedIn than folks would imagine - and my spidey sense tells me there's more crap on the site than the suits would admit (see how many profiles have "whore", etc in titles).

Why are people getting off the site? For one, marketing InMails (drive me BSC). Two, check out - one day there's sure to be a special LinkedIn wing on this site...
Comment by Will Thomson on May 5, 2014 at 11:11am

Steve- About a month ago I would get 200-400 views for everything I posted.  Now I have usually less than 100.  That tells me two things. 1)  Yes, you are correct- less people are active on LinkedIn.  2) People can't find what I have posted.  It is becoming increasingly difficult.  

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 5, 2014 at 12:34pm

Thanks again, Will. As before,I suggest a "How Has LinkedIn ****** You Today?" posting. (I wonder if 1/day would be enough?)

I'm afraid that until large numbers of major LIR customers start cancelling their services (preferably quite publicly) and/or a decent LIR-killer comes along, little will change....


Comment by Will Thomson on May 5, 2014 at 1:01pm

I agree with you 100% Keith.  100%.  Thanks for chiming in.  So- all we really need is a decent competitor.  Or- will that even do it?  


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