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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Seriously, Does Anyone Actually Use LinkedIn?

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM

As I write this, I am clicking “accept” from the “so and so has indicated you are a friend and wants to be a connection” thing on LinkedIn. This brings my total number of connections to well over 500+ (I think 823 is the actual number). Of that, the overwhelming majority have indicated they want to “connect” with me because we are “friends.” In actuality, I have never heard of 90% of these people.

After we’ve made this most intimation of connections, you think they would, you know, reach out to me or something. Maybe send an email cuddle or perhaps just a follow-up “it was good for me too” or “thinking of you” message via In-Mail or whatever it’s called. But of those 823 connections, I regularly hear absolutely nothing.

In fact, my only interaction with LinkedIn – besides just blindly clicking the “accept connection request” button a few times a week – is seeing the e-mails announcing that someone has endorsed me for some skill they think I possess. (More likely, they just checked the “endorse all” box because it probably seems the polite thing to do.)

And I admit, it is nice that 104 people have taken the millisecond of time required to endorse me for my supposed prowess in “Consumer Electronics.” Whatever that “endorsement” is worth. Sadly, only 10 people think I’m worth a "Writing" endorsement; the same amount of people that think I’m endorsement-worthy for "Product Development" and "Marketing Strategy," two things I wouldn’t even endorse myself for. However 29 people like my blogging, so, I guess there’s that… And bless you, single, solitary person that has endorsed me for Craft Beer. You are a kind and worthy soul!

What I’ve found is that posts or connections on LinkedIn get almost no interaction. In fact, I only “post” to LinkedIn because Hootsuite allows me to simultaneously post to Linked along with Twitter. I mean, I’ve got 823 “connections” that are all “friends,” so surely they are dying to find out what I’m up to and keep up with my latest.

In the past seven days, five people have apparently looked at my profile and I’ve shown up in searches 11 times. I’m not sure what this means or what good it is. I mean, no one has ever said, “Wow! I found your profile on LinkedIn! You are just the guy we’ve been looking for! Please, let us throw money at you and see how much sticks!” There have been no long-lost friends or ex-colleagues that have “discovered” me on LinkedIn.

Honestly, does anyone actually “check in” on their home page or monitor the timeline for updates? About the only update news is essentially “some random person you’ve never met has connected with some other random person you’ve never heard of” or “some other random person was endorsed by another random person.” Who cares?

I also don’t understand sending out a group blast e-mail that asks me to recommend you for something. First, even if I know you, we probably haven’t done any actual work together, so how can I possibly recommend you? “This person has a decent profile pic and didn’t misspell any words in the message they sent asking me to recommend them, and I’m guessing they have a handle on basic hygiene and social decorum, so you should totally use them for whatever it is that they say they do…” Second, I don’t think the recommendation is worth the bits and bytes it takes to type them up. If I *really* know you, and you *actually* need a recommendation for something that we have *literally* done from doing business together, then send me a *personal* email, explaining what it is that you need from me and why you think it would help and then I’ll be happy to consider it. So, if you are going to send out such an email blast, please just assume that I won’t respond. In return, I promise to NEVER send you out a mass-LinkedIn message request asking for some recommendation. Deal?

(Also, on a similar note, while I appreciate the #FF mentions on Twitter, I think they are equally worthless. Especially when you have like 100 followers. Chances are the 100 people that follow you A) won’t read your Tweet, B) won’t do anything about it if they do or C) already follow me. So, thanks, but I feel like it is also a bit of an empty gesture.)

Is LinkedIn actually the way that modern day business connections are made? Has anyone actually paid for a LinkedIn membership? Has anyone gotten any jobs or anything because of LinkedIn? Does anyone actually use it to engage anyone? And is it effective?
Seriously, what is LinkedIn for? I’m curious to know…

And if it is good for something, here's my profile so you can share the love.

Categories: April 2013, Rants

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Reply Christopher
9:56 AM on June 30, 2014 
Apparently, not many people read webs blogs either. :-/
Reply Matthew
1:47 PM on September 21, 2014 
haha.... i'm signing up for linked in now. and it's like walking into a ghost town. kind of creepy. i'm going to try it and see what results occur, if any. good honest piece of writing though. i think you're right.
linked in = useless.