Monday, June 18, 2012

Revisiting LinkedIn: now may be the time to leave.

It seems that more people are leaving sites like LinkedIn.  Part of the reason is that there have been some issues with password hacking.  While I do not think that is reason enough to leave, it's the push that some people need to question their place on such sites.  After all, if (a)social networking sites are not giving you any return for the amount of time you take maintaining them, are they worth the trouble?

One blogger who I came in contact with stated:
Not that it was the password hack that pushed me over the edge. It was the growing realization that being on LinkedIn meant absolutely nothing to me. I had gone through the whole profile building, adding resume information, connecting with a few hundred people, embedding my (other) blog, and so on. My profile was there and frequently visited, by people I might or might not know and for who knows what reasons.
LinkedIn is very proud of its position in the (a)social networking world.  According to the behemoth, "LinkedIn is the world's largest business network."  That's nice. Does LinkedIn want a cookie for this accomplishment? However, just because something is massive doesn't mean that it is a great thing. Just because multitudes of people have a profile on LinkedIn does not mean that they will find that coveted career that they crave.

Others do not like sites like LinkedIn, as they don't like to leave a trail of personal information around the internet that can be kept and cached for years to come.  I don't blame them.  If one decides to get rid of profiles on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, the profile information can and still does exist indefinately in the servers.  Even when a site is removed from the internet, information is still cached by Google and other search engines.  While I do not mind having some information on the internet about me, it is troubling to think that if I change my mind and want something removed, it may be very hard, if not impossible to get rid of it.  This alone is reason enough for some people to think twice before signing up for such sites.  That being said, many are not aware of this fact when they sign up to these (a)social networking sites.

Recently, CNN ran an article stating that "LinkedIn is a hacker's dream tool"
"If you use LinkedIn, you've probably told the site where you work, what you do and who you work with. That's a gold mine for hackers, who are increasingly savvy in using that kind of public -- but personal -- information for pinpoint attacks."

LinkedIn's vulnerability, though, is inextricably tied to its growth. The site now has 150 million users -- almost twice as many as it had just one year ago. As its database grows richer, its value increases for both its members and those wishing to exploit them.
Further, why should one be compelled to share their work history with the rest of the world?  Perhaps this is just another way in which people show off via the internet.   I also wonder, is LinkedIn a way in which business contacts, rivals, and those who went to college together stroke their egos?  Is it more about finding a job or is it more about validating ones own career path to others and to oneself?  I tend to think it's the latter.

In the end, even with some people stating that LinkedIn is a wonderful resource, I have to say that LinkedIn gave me little to nothing of substantial value. I am not alone. Although I had a well developed profile and group of contacts, I never had any leads to any positions, nor did I find that it proved any more useful than sending out job applications blindly via Craigslist (which tends to not be useful in itself). However, I would venture to guess, blindly sending your resume through Craigslist would probably have a better chance of landing one a job than by babysitting a LinkedIn profile. Coupled with the chance of your information being hacked and having your information strung out across the internet for any individual to see, even far in the future, when one may not want such information visible, makes LinkedIn a losing game. So what it's the biggest and greatest business network in all the land? In the end it's a huge time sink that has little chance of paying off.

1 comment:

  1. Ok I am THISCLOSE to deactivating my facebook account thanks to your blog. I have been so unhealthily attached to it over the years that I really feel like its the only way to stay connected and my self esteem has really suffered. Any tips for maintaining and creating new friendships and social outlets? ive always used facebook as an excuse not to develop my social skills. If I lose friends from deactivating, are they really friends? thanks