The Eagle Blog

LinkedIn … Good and Bad

I have been using the social networking site LinkedIn for some time now. I don’t use it a lot, and I am by no means an expert user … but I do have some observations.

1. It is a great tool for recruiters looking to find specific people or people with specific skills.
2. It is a great tool for sales people, tracking down ex-colleagues particularly in the technology world as they tend to adopt these kind of tools first.
3. It can be a nuisance when people you don’t know or barely know contact you to “link in”. I was caught by this early on and have a couple of “professional linkers” linked to me.
4. It seems to be all but impossible to “unlink” once you are linked in … which is a pain.
5. The concept of testimonials is strange … I have seen a number of people on linkedIn with “glowing testimonials” and yet I know better. I guess its a case of “buyer beware” but if a group of friends all decide to write glowing testimonials about each other then it can be deceiving.
6. Many people have no security on their lists of contacts … that is nice for me because I can look at people I know and see if they have mutual acquaintances who I can then contact. However … a competitor might look at that list as potential targets, or a recruiter might target my contacts.

The concept of networking over the internet in today’s high paced global economy is very appealing. Its an easier way to stay in touch with colleagues and friends who are spread out running at what seems to be the normal pace of the 21st century. For that alone I think LinkedIn is a tool I will continue to use.

Having said that, like most busy people I have not taken time to learn the tool properly and I might still be open to some kind of online abuse … like all tools there is a price to pay. So my advice is to take a look at this tool, try it out … but be aware of the potential dangers.


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8 thoughts on “LinkedIn … Good and Bad

  1. Disconnecting from someone is actually quite easy, but like many things, there is a little bit of knowledge required.

    The comments on the recommending are dead on. I get people I don’t even know asking me to recommend them. You only recommend people with whom you have had professional business experience. I explain this nicely to these people when I turn them down and they are understanding and thankful (once again – uneducated).

    It is actually a pretty good practice to connect to professional networkers you don’t know. They bring tremendous resources into your network that you may need some day. You are connecting to their network, not just them.

    For some it makes sense to hide your connections as you state. It is a bit selfish and contrary to good etiquette, but it makes best sense for some.

    Remember – at one time, your best friend and even your spouse were strangers.

    We have trained thousands of people on how to best utilize LinkedIn for business purposes.

    Mike O’Neil
    CEO
    Integrated Alliances
    http://www.integratedalliances.com

  2. Disconnecting from someone is actually quite easy, but like many things, there is a little bit of knowledge required.

    The comments on the recommending are dead on. I get people I don’t even know asking me to recommend them. You only recommend people with whom you have had professional business experience. I explain this nicely to these people when I turn them down and they are understanding and thankful (once again – uneducated).

    It is actually a pretty good practice to connect to professional networkers you don’t know. They bring tremendous resources into your network that you may need some day. You are connecting to their network, not just them.

    For some it makes sense to hide your connections as you state. It is a bit selfish and contrary to good etiquette, but it makes best sense for some.

    Remember – at one time, your best friend and even your spouse were strangers.

    We have trained thousands of people on how to best utilize LinkedIn for business purposes.

    Mike O’Neil
    CEO
    Integrated Alliances
    http://www.integratedalliances.com

  3. I know some linked in members who write their *own* testimonials. They email them to their friends to post on their behalf.

    Disappointing, but not surprising.

    In the beginning, there was MySpace. It quickly degenerated into a wasteland of frivolity and non-verifiable information. FaceBook emerged as a more mature alternative to MySpace, and LinkedIn emerged as a more ‘professional’ alternative to FaceBook.

    Eventually LinkedIn will lose its credibility and we will all move on to the next thing.

  4. I know some linked in members who write their *own* testimonials. They email them to their friends to post on their behalf.

    Disappointing, but not surprising.

    In the beginning, there was MySpace. It quickly degenerated into a wasteland of frivolity and non-verifiable information. FaceBook emerged as a more mature alternative to MySpace, and LinkedIn emerged as a more ‘professional’ alternative to FaceBook.

    Eventually LinkedIn will lose its credibility and we will all move on to the next thing.

  5. It is a shame but you are probably right … the strength of these tools is that they are “user driven”, but that is also their weakness.

    Despite the negative aspects mentioned LinkedIn has enough benefit to me today that I am not ready to give up on it.

    It will be interesting to see how this space evolves. Maybe the LinkedIn crew will find the right answer or maybe the next great thing will come from somewhere else … the speed of change in the internet world is warp speed!

  6. It is a shame but you are probably right … the strength of these tools is that they are “user driven”, but that is also their weakness.

    Despite the negative aspects mentioned LinkedIn has enough benefit to me today that I am not ready to give up on it.

    It will be interesting to see how this space evolves. Maybe the LinkedIn crew will find the right answer or maybe the next great thing will come from somewhere else … the speed of change in the internet world is warp speed!

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