Tech & Work

LinkedIn: What have you done?

LinkedIn, once a social media tool for professionals, has changed its course somewhat with spammy emails.

There are seriously not enough hours in the day to maintain a significant presence on all the social networks out there. So it's a little aggravating when one member of the social media regime steps up its email notifications, like LinkedIn has recently.

Back in November, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner denied that the company was sending an abnormally large number of emails. He said, "People feel like they're seeing more email, but that's not really the case." I'm not sure about that.

Maybe I expect a little more out of LinkedIn. But in the last couple of days, I got a congratulatory email telling me that I was "one of the top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!" This I seriously doubt. I'm wondering if this is not some kind of a psychological play on their part. In other words, if you find out you're good at something that you didn't know about, then it gives you a little boost to go look at it again. And there's a click for LinkedIn. But then I'm cynical.

One thing that I may be cynical about that deserves the cynicism is the new LinkedIn "endorsement." LinkedIn now allows anyone to endorse anyone for their skills. I've always looked at LinkedIn as Facebook's employed cousin so it was a little disconcerting to all of a sudden start getting email notifications that people were "endorsing" me who A) had already endorsed me with something written in the past, B) who haven't work with me in 165 years, or C) were complete strangers who wouldn't be able to recognize one of my skills in a police lineup. In other words, something that had some meaning at one point is now completely meaningless. It is now the equivalent of a Facebook "Like."

And last, I think LinkedIn has played one of the lowest cards in the spam book. On your LinkedIn home page, you'll find a little mention of something like, "Your profile has been viewed by 5 people in the past 7 days," or "You have shown up in search results 21 times in the past 7 days." This is followed by a promo for LinkedIn Premium. Surely if the LinkedIn folks have a fully fleshed out product they've labeled Premium, then they could highlight some of its other features, perhaps those that appeal to a more professional need than to see who's been stalking you. I don't like a professional organization whose come-ons pertain to the lowest common denominator, especially when it has better things to brag about.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

Editor's Picks