Over the last couple of years I’ve added contacts to Linked In with a certain amount of consideration. In other words, I’ve added only links that are “real” in some sense; they are friends and friends of friends, and colleagues and colleagues of colleagues who’s name I recognized. Then, yesterday, my password was published on the internet. That’s now been changed, but again, it is effort I’ve expended.

I’ve gotten no benefit from being on Linked In. So far, I’ve spent time, and I’ve been at risk but with no reward.

Why am I here and why should I stay? Anybody know?

__________________________
Photo by Linda Cronin

Comments

  1. #1 boba
    June 12, 2012

    You are not looking for a job are you? Value of LinkedIn.
    FWIW, I am on LinkedIn but not on Facebook. While Matlab’s Matlab Central is more useful for finding particular m.files, LinkedIn allows me to query “trusted” experts for guidance on a particular problem or technique. All depends how you use it.

  2. #2 dean
    June 12, 2012

    I hope you find out. I continue to get requests to join – fellow faculty, former students (not for $1 million there, from the ones who’ve been named), but I am with you: I’ve never gotten a good explanation for the benefit it would bring. Perhaps if I were in a business career?

  3. #3 Gabriel Roybal
    June 12, 2012

    i ask this question all the time

  4. #4 NewEnglandBob
    June 12, 2012

    I have been on LinkedIn for a dozen years, since a friend bugged me to join with him. I have not been on since.

    I was hoping the hackers would publish my password, since I have no idea what it was.

    But seriously, my wife is a software consultant and it has been marginally beneficial in maintaining contacts for finding new work.

  5. #5 george.w
    Normal, IL
    June 12, 2012

    Our graduates use it as a way of making reference and alumni contact… but we are a college of business. Not sure how applicable it would be in other fields.

  6. #6 bks
    Earth
    June 12, 2012

    It’s just an on-line resume/c.v.. It’s completely useless otherwise. The science-oriented “groups” have some signal, but is drowned out by the noise of the marketers and the recruiters. The Web 2.0 interface is a huge step backwards from earlier Internet e-conferences.

    –bks

  7. #7 Doug Alder
    June 12, 2012

    That may be true for you BKS but not me – it’s brought customers to our business

  8. #8 Mike Licht
    Washington DC
    June 12, 2012

    LinkedIn helps potential clients,consultants and collaborators check each other out. It’s also valuable if you’re a career changer and wish to keep in touch with folks from your checkered past.

  9. #9 bks
    Earth
    June 12, 2012

    Doug Alder: yes, SPAM is the LinkedIn business model.

    –bks

  10. #10 JL
    June 13, 2012

    Linkedin is not important if you never expect to have a real job.

  11. #11 F
    June 13, 2012

    @JL
    Because all and only real jobs are available via LinkedIn, right?

  12. #12 Bruce
    June 13, 2012

    LinkedIn is helpful for keeping tabs on past business and professional contacts, and not as much of a timewaster as Facebook. I find it helpful. I don’t have anything very personal on LinkedIn, since I expect recruiters to seek me out there; nothing too embarrassing to leak.
    When you say your “password was published”, are you referring to the 6,400,001 password hashcodes recently revealed as leaked? If so, that’s a reason to change your password but not to panic. The password hashcodes are not by themselves sufficient to login to your account, they just make it easier for someone to hack in by reducing the possible permutations of your password to check. It’s still non-trivial to break into an arbitrary account, and a neglected account is not of much value. I assume LinkedIn has put in some more measures to counteract the kind of attacks that would exploit this leak. The thing I worry about is, what else was leaked that we don’t know about?
    According to http://www.leakedin.org, my old (and not very strong) password is leaked but not known to be cracked.

  13. #13 Bawgh
    June 14, 2012

    The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.

  14. #14 travc
    June 14, 2012

    Bawga said: “The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.”

    Not quite so. That may be the way they generate revenue, but a real business model isn’t just about revenue. At a minimum there is also “acquire and retain market share”, which necessitates providing a good or service (or at very least pretending to).

    For me, Google provides very useful services which I’m quite willing to pay for by giving them info. Facebook, not so much. I’m not on Linked-in, but may soon since the branding around business (especially technical) may have created an emergent filter of sorts appropriate for me at the moment since I’m looking for technical work.

  15. #15 travc
    June 14, 2012

    Bawga said: “The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.”

    Not quite so. That may be the way they generate revenue, but a real business model isn’t just about revenue. At a minimum there is also “acquire and retain market share”, which necessitates providing a good or service (or at very least pretending to).

    For me, Google provides very useful services which I’m quite willing to pay for by giving them info. Facebook, not so much. I’m not on Linked-in, but may soon since the branding around business (especially technical) may have created an emergent filter of sorts appropriate for me at the moment since I’m looking for technical work.

  16. #16 travc
    June 14, 2012

    Sorry for the dup above… I swear I only hit submit once.

  17. #17 Wow
    June 15, 2012

    It seems to me the only purpose of LinkedIn is to spam people with invites to LinkedIn.

    Yes, it’s less of a timewaster than Facebook, but mostly because there’s other uses for Facebook.

    LinkedIn only spams people. I guess the idea is that once you join, their system won’t spam you any more, therefore an advantage.

  18. #18 tenine
    Chattanooga, TN
    June 15, 2012

    I have signed up for several archaeology-related groups and get some interesting content.

  19. #19 Daniel J. Andrews
    June 15, 2012

    Not sure myself. Have professional contacts on mine, but so far haven’t had to use linked in to find contracts–word of mouth and personal contacts is still by far the more productive method in finding my next job.

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