I have been with LinkedIn for a few years now and have noticed it has become a more mainstream social networking site, as opposed to the more business savvy, network it once was. Linked In has resulted in some great opportunities that would otherwise be unfound or buried in a sea of garbage on other employment sites, Workopolis and Monster for example. So I have reaped the benefits of it being a more business focused site.
I was just saying yesterday though that it has become a lot more like Faceblech. Facebook is okay for tracking down an old school buddy an saying Hi but that's about it. I agree that I see LinkedIn going that way too. I know people who have no business experience, no technical experience or anything normally associated with LinkedIn, an yet they have a LinkedIn profile. I have noticed also that almost every page where you can log in to another site or comment using FaceBook and Twitter log ins, also now includes LinkedIn, which I think adds a lot more "unqualified" (for lack of a better term) users to start up Facebook profiles.
I've also had endorsements from people I've never heard of, I assume in hopes that I will endorse them for something, even not knowing them. This really detracts from a profile system where people could actually show their real merits by associate endorsements.
Of course, when it all comes down to it, the end result is page views to attract advertisers and money. The focus of the site seems to be getting lost in the social 'anyone is a hero ' network environment. It's too bad really because when I wanted to view real profiles of qualified businesses and research prospective clients etc. it was an excellent tool, which has now lost a lot of credibility and become just another social networking site.
I think they should stepo back and find their focus again. If it's ads and money, let me know and I'll kill my profile. If it's B2B networking, focus on it and work to eliminate the BS. As it stands now, endorsements, which seemed like a good idea at first, have lost all credibility. Now it's like Facebook when you log in, "do you know so and so?" "Do you want to endorse so and so?" NO. If I was searching for someone, great, if I was looking to network with a coworker or old associate and praise his abilities, great, DON'T suggest I do.
I assume any feedback to them on the matter would result in the Premium membership pitch, as if that would fix it.
Looking for something new now, LinkedIn has simply failed, in the name of the mighty dollar.
We need a site like this hosted by people who want to develop a real working B2B network and forget the ads and popularity contest. The only problem with THAT pipe dream is that it would be hosted from Canada, US or another nation where money is the only focus.
Too bad, really. LinkedIn was a great site a few years back too.
UPDATE: I just logged in to LinkedIn and it doesn't even open my profile page but goes straight to "We found 37 people you know on LinkedIn. Select the people you'd like to connect to
So I read through the list and found 2 out of 37 people I supposedly know that I actually DO know.
37 people I know include a firefighter in Lakeview (wherever that is), 3 different Wong's that I don't know (and who don't have a complete profile), a swimming instructor/lifeguard in Vancouver etc. My brother, who is already linked to me, and a former manager that I sued and who I wouldn't endorse for being able to write his name.
Skipping that step, I still haven't got to my page and now I have 67 people who aren't on LionkedIn yet and I can invite. One of them is ME! One is a band I used to manage and three are TechRepublic people, this must have been scooped from my GMAIL address book, however there are still a few I don't know, maybe spammers that were auto saved as address entries in GMail or something.
I haven't waded through their TOS or EULA or whatever they have but I'm sue there's a GMail connection in there somewhere, which doesn't really bother me because it's one of my junk mail/web log in accounts.
Talk about going to crap! I just went out on the patio for a smoke with a coworker and she asked if I use LinkedIn (coincidence?) she is new to it and said she was being asked to endorse people she'd never met. And on goes the hopeless cycle of money grabbing websites. I think I'll go back to finding pen pals and writing letters!
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