Blogging about someone else's blog post seems a bit redundant. So I rarely do it. But my friend Bob Ambrogi's post Is LinkedIn Losing Its Luster for Lawyers? struck such a cord with me that I had to note it here.
So many good social sharing ideas get a great start online and then get hijacked by salespeople. I get it. If I was a commissioned salesperson with time on my hands or trying to promote a startup with inadequate marketing budget, I'd be on LinkedIn and every other free social media service sending out invitations to connect. The same idea drove spam email; that you can send out tens of thousands of messages with little effort and expense that the recipients all have to deal with in their inboxes. If only one of every thousand responds as a potential customer, the return on investment can be seen as great, even if the other 999 recipients view you as a morally bankrupt nuisance.
I hope this trend doesn't destroy LinkedIn, but I already feel slightly negative today every time I think of LinkedIn. I also get too many notifications from LinkedIn. I'm fairly certain many people have no idea they are doing this. Among the most annoying are the ones asking me to congratulate a colleague on a new job when they do not have a new job. They were just tweaking their profile. Don't spam your connections. Go to your LinkedIn privacy setting and turn off activity broadcasts. You will still be able to share anything you intentionally share, but this will limit the unintended sharing.
I'm not dumping LinkedIn yet, although, like others I am much more selective about accepting connection requests from strangers. I automatically send my blog posts to LinkedIn and some people see them there who might have missed them otherwise. I really love the readability and formatting of LinkedIn Pulse.
But LinkedIn was supposed to be a directory– in my world. It was supposed to facilitate contacts. The idea of seeing someone you might hire who was connected to someone you could trust to give an accurate reference was powerful. Maybe it is too hard to monetize that as rapidly as is wanted today. But I get a lot of digital inflow now and it is hard keeping up. I fear Bob Ambrogi is onto something.