This week’s news about the security breach at LinkedIn was the last push I needed to finally close my LinkedIn account.
I joined LinkedIn in 2008 long before the IPO. Back then, LinkedIn’s mission of providing a place for professional networking was still in tact and had real value. If there ever was a secondary agenda to monetize the information being shared between members, at least it wasn’t being blatantly pursued to the detriment of the community. There was always a certain respect between members that kept conversations confined to helping each other solve problems and trade ideas. It was a place where you didn’t need to worry about being scammed or blitzed with incessant advertising.
Gradually however, as the membership grew and the anchovies started pouring in (start watching at 2:10), conversations became less about helping others in favor of thinly veiled attempts to exploit others for business advantage. People began to join simply because social media experts told them they needed to be there, not because they wanted to contribute to the community.
Not too much later the trolls came in and set up camp, hijacking meaningful conversations and consequently discouraging the authentic, genuine participation that had made LinkedIn so valuable. By the time of the IPO last year, LI had become little more than a hunting preserve for professional recruiters, and after the IPO, a hunting preserve festooned with advertising.
Now that the Russian underground has joined LinkedIn in a big way, it feels just a little too crowded, and it’s finally time to move on. Having one less social network to deal with actually feels a bit refreshing, and I really don’t think I’m going to miss it.
I’m curious…LinkedIn didn’t work for me, but maybe it did for you. If you’re getting good value out of LI, what is it? Did I miss something?