The Irrelevance of LinkedIn

You’ve heard the upside about LinkedIn: it’s the top social network for business professionals.  You’ve also heard the downside: it’s too formal, too strict, too limiting.  But have you ever stopped to consider whether or not your LinkedIn experience is actually relevant?

As a social network, it’s far less “social” than Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.  Due to its structured privacy, its only permitted social interaction consists of private emails or group message boards that function more like forums or bulletin boards than blogs.  And when it comes to the quality of information available in these groups, the occasional pearl of wisdom is too often surrounded by reheated blog content and bad business pitches from users desperate to drive traffic and influence their peers.

As rival networks like Facebook continue to expand their capabilities — and as the modern business world inches ever closer to less formal familiarity- and trust-based interactions — LinkedIn is in danger of becoming notable solely as an online résumé repository.  (And if Facebook should ever delve into that market, LinkedIn’s value proposition would tumble sharply.)

Given these challenges, how would you improve LinkedIn’s relevance?

2 thoughts on “The Irrelevance of LinkedIn

  1. I agree that bad business pitches and ill-considered comments in discussions can drag down the overall quality of LinkedIn discussions.

    But I have to respectively disagree that LinkedIn is irrelevant. When used to discover expertise or help in an area you could use that help I’ve found LinkedIn extremely valuable.

    Like all Social Media experiences, any user’s particular experience of LinkedIn may be colored by how much they give of themselves and find value in being part of the community. I suspect your experiences have not be positive for whatever reason. For me, I’ve made business connections that I will keep for many many years. Connections that started casually as I answered someone’s question or sought help and received it from others.

    I, for one, hope LinkedIn thrives.

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