Its personal everyday usefulness certainly is.
And then Microsoft spent billions to acquire it.
Over the years I’ve built a substantial network and following on linkedin, ~11,000 followers, which acted to enable my professional career while providing a platform the share my thoughts, ideas and views extensively.
Unfortunately the quality of conversations and content has waned in recent times, it is now more spam than substance. It has been infiltrated by marketers, who utilise it as a sounding board for campaigns, recruiters, who advertise false jobs in order to drive down wages, and time wasters, exploiting the ease of connection in an attempt to offer irrelevant services.
As a platform to share thoughts and ideas it has regressed significantly. Its publishing service is absolutely terrible, which is being kind. My articles regularly received hundreds of shares, thousands of likes and tens of thousands of views and were often featured on the numerous channels offered through linkedin pulse. It’s not that my writing has deteriorated in terms of content or quality, my writing is still viewed extensively on alternative platforms and been published on INC, Forbes and the Huffington Post, it is that the discoverability of quality content just doesn’t seem to be the same anymore. There is also a question of whether the things I publish are even shared within my network anymore, which is the most disappointing thing.
And that is what linkedin has evolved to be. It has tried to become all things to all men instead of focusing on the essential ingredients that made it great. Early on I was targeted frequently and often by high quality potential jobs. Now all I seem to elicit are offers out with my area of expertise, away from my geographic location which any decent recruiter would know would not appeal to my sensibilities. high quality recruiters offering
That is why it appears that a number of the specialty features LinkedIn excelled at are migrating to exciting new startups. Companies like Hired.com are far more appealing from a candidates perspective for jobs that linkedin ever was. Medium and Quora are far more effective at distributing your thoughts, ideas and expertise. Emails are still a far more personal way to make a connection, as opposed to the disposable nature of connecting on a platform which is waning in popularity and influence.
As a service I just don’t think it justifies the premium feature any longer. What are you actually paying for, a few inMails a month or the ability to search more extensively? It seems like awful value proposition.
But as a research tool is now incredible, which is what I feel most people miss. It may not offer the same benefits or positive outcomes it did previously but it has evolved to become even more ubiquitous. In many it’s value ways it becoming a far more effective and essential tool as its popularity diminishes.
Everyone is on Linkedin even if they don’t use it. It enables you to identify career trajectories based on the historical precedent of those people you seek to emulate. It lets you understand the experience necessary to go about changing your career path. As a resource for quantitatively making a career or education decision it is literally unmatched and in my mind unsurpassable. If you aren’t using it for this purpose you are missing something.
Reid and Jeff are incredible people, my admiration for what they have built is substantial, and I fully believe they will figure it out, contingent on a lack of interference from Microsoft.
There are many ways they could breathe new life into the platform:
1. Succession Planning: Enable a business to business service aggregating LI’s abundance of data to make recommendations for succession planning and routes of progression for staff. At large companies leaving. LinkedIn has a unique opportunity to distil the information it is afforded by deconstructing the ascension of business leaders and matching it with personnel who could be moulded for a similar rise. LI could identify the skills and training missing from candidates resume and proceed to organise the requisite training. That roles out the Alliance, talked about frequently by Reid, to external business.promoted it is often difficult to recognise and promote the right talent which often leads to staff who should
2. Training: It is currently missing a trick in regards to the provision of training. More than any other platform in the world it is aware which skills are required for which jobs. Enable a reverse search, i.e. I want X job so I need Y experience, Z skills and A/B/C training. LinkedIn could provide a metasearch option, like skyscanner for training, where the right training options are offered at the most affordable prices. Obviously LinkedIn has the Lynda service, which is great, but this doesn’t address the requirement for certificated qualifications.
3. Company Pages: They are awful. Allow companies to upload media rich materials in order to attract customers. LinkedIn has excelled in cultivating a network which enriched the life of the professional. So far it has failed to birth a similar revolution in relation to how companies reach potential clients and customers.
4. Influencers: Enable a mechanism for recommendation, particularly for niche markets, of individuals who provide valuable insight. This will enable LinkedIn to follow future trends before they explode.
Those not busy being born are busy dying. LinkedIn desperately needs to find potential for new life.
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