LinkedIn – Thing 20 of 23

Business Social Networking – The Devil, or merely Satan?

Okay, so that might be a little bit flippant. In all honesty I have been on LinkedIn for a number of years, so to see that the 23 things had it as something I could look at as an assignment was a nice moment.
Like with everything it seems, my experiences of LinkedIn are something of a mixed bag. Maybe I should post more stuff on there, but with claims of not being able to put my work down etc and already curating my electronic presence on a number of other platforms, I don’t have the most active LinkedIn profile.  
Business social networks (and especially LinkedIn) are very different from Facebook etc. but have some startling similarities:

The Similarities

  • People still ignore each other en masse
  • You can have pictures, videos and all kinds of shiny content
  • People are very careful to give off a certain appearance
  • People are still creeps to each other 
  • Configuring your privacy settings is a chore

The Differences

  • People talk about their work and little else
  • You can actually network with people better in your job
  • Recruiters stalk LinkedIn like lions across the African savannah
  • People make more concerted efforts to remain civil (but still fail)

So what does that all mean?

While I do spend time on LinkedIn, it is rarely for enjoyment, though finding an old colleague has moved onto a better role still makes me smile. 
It is still very much a social network, with all of the problems that brings. Trolls, creeps and the like are still out there, just quieter. What you also get are recruiters (at least I do) and vendors who want to sell their “hot product” to your business. What tipped me off this wasn’t Facebook was their “hot product” wasn’t as likely to be a load of old crap.
LinkedIn is obsessed with you connecting to as many people as possible, so Social Media sprawl is a huge issue on the platform. Trimming down your contacts seems to be something it wants you to avoid at all cost. All of this results in watering down of relationships and higher noise to signal ratios. So if there was one way LinkedIn could be better it would be in having more granular control of your connections by groups and filtering better.
7 out of 10 LinkedIn. You’re good, but you could be better.