LinkedIn? It seems like this professional network is becoming the market bazaar of services and products. A site where people are hawking their particular merchandise or business in every post, discussion, and group that is on LinkedIn. Every time I log in I feel like I am assaulted with ads, how-to’s, companies to follow, a list of daily achievements, and more. I can almost hear the hustle and bustle of people talking multiple dialects with foreign music playing in the background, and can even see the opening act of the famous Walt Disney movie, Aladdin. You know the one, right–the scene with the peddler (played by Robin Williams) who greets the visitor saying, “Welcome to LinkedIn. City of mystery, of enchantment, and the finest merchandise this side of the internet river, on sale today, come on down! Heh, heh. Look at this! Yes! Combination hookah and coffee maker–also makes Julienne fries.”
Now, I am the first to admit that I have posted my services and my companies achievements, however, I don’t post daily, nor do I post in every group that I am a member of. Usually I share useful information about articles, books and other information I have read, learned, or gathered during my last 14 years in the web development industry. And, I try to take into account what I believe my professional network would find helpful in the technology and web industry. In other words, it is relevant information.
I originally joined LinkedIn to connect with other professionals that I had developed a business association with and to strengthen my business relationships. As LinkedIn grew and the ability to create a group specific to your industry was available, it was fantastic because we were afforded the opportunity to share knowledge with peers. Groups allowed for collaboration on a global scale and social problem solving was available at the fingertips of any LinkedIn member.
I have often posted a development issue or problem in these groups and would get an enormous response from many different views. I have also responded to other professionals’ queries when they had an issue to solve. But these days, it literally appears that the groups are laden with different random sales pitches which do not even relate to the group. I find this situation extremely frustrating, and wish that the professionals who setup the group would at least moderate to be sure that random trash did not get posted in their group. I can’t help but wonder if some groups are so convoluted and off base at this point that the moderators have given up?
LinkedIn should take more notice of the groups that professionals have on their network; groups that are started purely for advertising could be noted (letting you know that the group has a strong tendency to self-promote, and “junk” the site with advertisements). If that were to occur, the professional who was considering joining any group could make an informed decision.
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