Step Inside the Outhouse That IS LinkedIn

Way back when I first joined LinkedIn I was considered by many of my (regular, non-HR/recruiter) contacts to be an ambassador and promoter of the site. For several (perhaps hundreds) of my connections, I was their first. Less active networkers, distant colleagues, friends, or acquaintances would often comment to me (or even my husband) that they always noticed my LinkedIn activity.

When out and about networking and asking whether a professional contact was on LinkedIn AND suggesting those who weren’t to join, I’d often get asked if I received commission for that. Of course I didn’t. And, I made a point to emphasize my status of having no official affiliation with LinkedIn clear to anyone that asked.

Like many other users I routinely collected and shared relevant content in various groups or as a conversation-starting status update. I posted discussions topics and participated by commenting in groups pertaining to my work and field. And, of course I relied heavily on LinkedIn as a resource for information about other business people. Not surprisingly, during certain periods, I also used LinkedIn to research potential career opportunities.

The first few years as a LinkedIn member were fairly easy to remain a supporter and active user. For the past five or so years, however, the fact that I was once such a staunch supporter has created a growing sense of disappointment. And, my enthusiasm as a user has shifted to more of sensation of dread when I do partake in the LinkedIn platform.

Why, you might ask? Because LinkedIn has continued to be overtaken by inconsiderate behavior or irrelevant activity that has no business being on a business or professional networking site.

LinkedIn itself has made some questionable and unpopular user-interface choices causing many others to complain as well. Many articles have been written by early-adopters like Will Thomson and prominent longtime super connected members pointing out aspects of LinkedIn’s rapidly declining user-experience and value.

For me LinkedIn has become the equivalent of an outhouse or port-a-potty. You know those temporary plastic structures erected at events that you reluctantly enter, attempt to avoid looking at, smelling or touching anything, and then skedaddle away as you try to shake off the heebie-jeebies? Yeah, that’s sort of how I feel about visiting LinkedIn these days.

My logins are becoming fewer and farther between. And, when I do go online, I get in to do my business and out as quickly as possible just like when using a port-a-potty.

As much as I wish I felt differently, I’m not sure how confident I can be that LinkedIn won’t continue being stinky and full of crap.  


Views: 916

Comment by Derdiver on July 21, 2014 at 11:36am

Brilliant. I have NEVER been a fan of LI nor an advocate of it. I use it because I have to. Great read!! 

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on July 21, 2014 at 7:41pm

Thanks for the fantastic comments and feedback, everyone! ~KB @TalentTalks 

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 21, 2014 at 9:05pm

Thanks, Will.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 25, 2014 at 2:39am

Companies need to realize that sometimes it is important to 'step outside' the In-House [Recruiter] that is using LinkedIn (primarily) to find candidates. No matter how skilled an in-house recruiter is, they can't always solve the search that a person with more of a research/sourcing/closing  focus can.  LinkedIn can't really always be expected to have the contacts that my email lists (culled and researched over a decade or more) have.  A truly good recruiter should have a strong database of candidates, as well as the ability to immediately go out and identify new ones, independently of LinkedIn...  Yes, I agree that the air inside LinkedIn may need some refreshing.


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