Don’t Let LinkedIn Become a Time Sink

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 5 Scaling Up Stage

LinkedIn allows you to post a professional profile and accept professional recommendations, and perform searches of the professional profiles of others you are considering doing business with. But with groups and posts it aspires to host content and be your first stop every morning. The risk is that it can become a time sink.

David Binetti’s Goodbye LinkedIn

David Binetti (@dbinetti) published a very thought provoking post today “Goodbye LinkedIn

I left Facebook about two years ago, and have zero regrets from that decision.  Essentially, the costs of maintenance (friend requests/spam) well exceeded the benefits (the occasional interesting photo or story.)  Unfortunately, that has now happened for me on LinkedIn as well.

The value proposition used to be in balance, but now I get way more spam than useful messages, the filtering of meaningful connections is too cumbersome (and spammy again), and the interfaces/apps have gone from cluttered and confusing to a full-on sensory assault.  The last time I logged in, my thoughts went from the usual, “Crap, where do I start?” to “This is painful.  Why am I doing this?”  I couldn’t think of a good reason why other than “it might be more useful someday”, and that wasn’t good enough for the effort.

I will be leaving up this profile as a pointer (and to prevent someone else from taking it) but I won’t be using LinkedIn as a communication tool nor will I be accepting or responding to any connection requests.  Over time I will be removing all my existing connections; don’t take it personally, I did the same thing with Facebook.

David Binetti in “Goodbye LinkedIn

I Find LinkedIn Increasingly Frustrating

I don’t think I am prepared to go as far as David Binetti but I must confess I find LinkedIn increasingly frustrating. I have already blogged about my inability to turn off job ads even though I pay for the service. They want to grow by selling more ads and attempting to squander more of my attention. LinkedIn is steadfastly committed to not being a productivity app, just by judging from the evolution of how much of the screen they have taken over and devoted to ads and promoted announcements.

More recently they have changed the rules for LinkedIn groups so that moderation is now after the fact, creating a race condition with new members who want to spam the group once and move on. I suspect they would like to take over the management completely with automated moderation once they believe that they have it working well enough. This would allow them to place more promoted posts.

I see them on a trajectory that carries them past the well past the tipping point of utility for many more than David Binetti, but until someone crafts a viable replacement they will likely continue to degrade the interface to squander more of their customers’ attention on ads.

“Growing fast isn’t the problem. Building stuff that doesn’t provide sustained value for the customer is. Metrics don’t tell you when you’re customer is doing something bad for them, but good for you. They tell you to encourage the behavior.”
Startup L. Jackson (@StartupLJackson)

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