Linkedin: The Old Online Professional Networking Model?

I had an interesting conversation about Linkedin on Twitter today when I saw someone in my Twitter feed post that they closed their Linkedin account. I was  a bit shocked to see that and knowing the kind of money companies spend to advertise and source this network for talent, mine being one of them, I was curious enough to probe further as to what these IT professionals didn’t like about it and what other social media they were using for professional networking.


reillyusa: RT @rjweeks70: Closed my LinkedIn account. What a colossal waste of time that was over the years.

willstaneywillstaney: @rjweeks70@reillyusa Would love to know why you feel Linkedin is a waste of time? Companies spend A LOT of money to find talent there.

rjweeks70rjweeks70: @willstaney@reillyusa The interface is awful. There’s no actual useful information there, just regurgitated twitter streams.

willstaneywillstaney: @rjweeks70 That’s good feedback, thanks. Do you find other social networks more effective? Which ones? cc: @reillyusa

rjweeks70rjweeks70: @willstaney@reillyusa The social network we’re using is remarkably effective. I’ve learned more from Twitter in a year than LinkedIn in 6.

reillyusareillyusa: @willstaney@rjweeks70 I would argue, weakly perhaps, that the # of inbound “connect with me” emails I get from ppl I don’t know is the prob


reillyusa: @willstaney@rjweeks70 I don’t categorize LinkedIn as social, it’s professional.

rjweeks70rjweeks70: @reillyusa@willstaney Agreed, the number of folks who want to connect without any actual previous connection is also a problem.


rjweeks70: @reillyusa@willstaney For instance, I wouldn’t add either of you on LinkedIn based on this twitter conversation, but other people will.


This raises a lot of questions. Obviously, there are a lot of choices out there for social networks now (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora, Google+, etc etc) and that’s A LOT to manage. Maybe a shift is happening. Are we beginning to see people have social networking site overload, forced to start weeding out the networks they feel less essential to focus on the ones they do? Christian Reilly (@reillyusa) said he didn’t even consider Linkedin a social network! Is that assuming we do not socialize when we are being professional? Are we not being professional when we socialize?

Are social networks becoming more of a preference choice? It’s almost impossible for a person to be fully active on all of them. So like car brands or cell phone carriers…they are going to have to chose the few that they like the best to get the most value out of them. None of them will have “everyone” so is it becoming even more essential for recruiters and companies to have a presence on many to be able to engage and find talent they’re looking for? I think so.

Will Google+ be the everything network that allows you to manage all of your life online in one place yet keep your different social groups separate but equal thus eliminating a need for separate “professional networks?” That remains to be seen but I will tell you that Google+, especially as it is now, with mostly early adopters and tech professionals on there is a tech recruiters dream pool!

With professional networks like Branchout, that leverages “personal” social networks like Facebook a better place for career growth? (Honestly, who’s more likely to recommend you for a job, your buddy from college or that random person you connected to or met at a conference on Linkedin?) Will Branchout eventually break away from their dependence on Facebook and offer a stand alone site that is compatible and pulls social profile data via applications within MANY social networks? Facebook & Google+? That seems like a better business model than Linkedin!

I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines lately that reflect that there are an overload of choices of social networks for advancing your career . I’m beginning to wonder if specifically career focused social networks are less appealing and/or are less effective because your career is one of many aspects of your life…not a completely seperate one. Also, it’s all just becoming too much to manage, right? People want at most a couple of networks that allow them to connect and share with both their personal and professional contacts. I think our personal and professional lives merge more than people believe are willing to admit.

So, how does Linkedin justify their stock price and being such a costly service to employers when there are so many FREE social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ out there that could be just as effective for recruiting?

Some interesting reads related to this:

Could Google+ Be the Best Social Network for Your Career?

Facebook vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn vs. Google+

More Employers Using Social Media to Hunt for Talent

Facebook Apps BranchOut and BeKnown Take on LinkedIn

Multiple Social Networks: The Places for Recruiters to Be

Is the CV dead?


What do you think? Comment below and lets talk.


6 thoughts on “Linkedin: The Old Online Professional Networking Model?

  1. I agree with the social overload. Services like TopProspect will become a valuable recruiting tool because people are paid for their referrals, which makes it worthwhile, and it’s easy to share through social networks. LinkedIn will come out with a tool for corporate sales teams as they face competition from Branchout and others.

  2. I’ve been on LinkedIn almost from their 1st day and I have to say I agree, it’s a total waste of time. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t shut the account down. It seems lately all I’m getting are people who want to sell me this or that.

    I think if Google continues on its current path with Google+ it will be the place to be. In the short time + has been around I’ve managed to connect with 200 professionals from around the country. I’ll be sending one of them a client interested in buying property in Las Vegas. After interacting with and reading her posts on Google+ I immediately knew she was a great fit for my client. I’d never get that on LinkedIn.

  3. I suppose if I used LinkedIn for no other reason than finding a gig, I probably wouldn’t find it as valuable. However, for professional networking purposes, e.g. sourcing compeers and participating in enlightening discussions relevant to professional interests, it is unparalled, IMHO. While Google+ is certainly the flavor du jour, much still needs to develop to know whether it is a replacement for LinkedIn. #justsayin’

  4. Will, I’m pretty shocked. Certainly I can see the reasonableness of preferring one social network over the other. Some are more effective than others, depending on what positions you are recruiting. But LinkedIn is a total waste of time? Wow, you’re disrupting my carefully choreographed Linked + Twitter + Facebook + G+ dance. The core value Linkedin brings is identifying who someone is, what they do, and where they work. Those are the key components to recruiting! Methinks some people don’t remember the days before the interwebs laid it all out there on a plate, and instead you had to call people one at a time to find out those things. Seriously.

    • @Yuri I did not say Linkedin was a waste of time. That was the feedback given by one of my Twitter followers. I posed many questions here…I am not presuming anything. Merely pondering on and observing behaviors and trends I am seeing. Also, one of the most key things I teach our recruiters at VMware and my past clients in my consultancy is that social media is not the be-all end-all. It is a tool to build and nourish relationships…the end result should always be to take it offline. Whether that be a happy hour, interview, phone call, or cup of coffee.

  5. I have to agree LinkedIn is a waste of time. I’ve concentrated on FB and now Google+

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