LinkedOff

Why I’ve LinkedOff

Will being LinkedOff make a difference?

I have just cancelled my premium membership to LinkedIn. You could say I’ve LinkedOff with LinkedIn.

Reduced professionalism

Social media is awash with blogs and posts about the decline of the traditional channels. To cut to the chase, one over arching comment is this. With all the automation, the social has gone out of social. There is one notable exception. LinkedIn is now too social and not professional enough.

LinkedIn has been one of my anchor platforms for many years. As a head hunter it’s part of the candidate identification process. As a career coach, I recommend and coach clients on how to leverage it to advance their job search and manage their careers.  As a business person it was an ideal platform for tapping into great contributions and insights from sector leaders.

I now feel as though I subscribed to the Times or Wall Street Journal and am getting the Sun or National Enquirer. Or worse.

In some cases we are seeing a stream of soft porn images. The image below is a screen shot from my LinkedIn stream today.LinkedOff2

I really only joined Facebook initially to make sure my kids were still alive. But I am seeing a higher level of engagement there. I know there are others who have LinkedOff too.

We’re a growing number and LinkedIn need to pay attention.

Barriers to entry

I thought this was great in the early days. Open and democratic in line with the zeitgeist. Now the proliferation of fake profiles and dubious agendas is on the rise, with seemingly no penalties. As a Premium Member I expected all outliers to be taken care of by basic controls at the profile setting up stage. There is no place for a woman’s nipples and bum on LinkedIn, or some stud muffin looking for a date. So I will block and report and not connect with anyone who looks doubtful. This means the first letter of your name should be capitalized. That is a dead giveaway. If you refer to yourself as Caspar in your summary but William in your name, there is something not right. But Caspar/William had 500 connections when I sent his profile for review today.

What I know about coding couldn’t even be covered on the back of a SIM card – but if dating sites can approve profiles and photos, why can’t LinkedIn? Surely this is just some software check? #justsaying

Business model

LinkedIn is a business and they need to make money. I get that. They need to find ways to generate activity and content so people will buy and use their product. I get that too. They have also spawned a whole industry sector around it.  But my patience is being sorely tested. It is no longer my go-to platform for top level content. Why? Because either there is less top level content, or that content is hard to find.

LinkedIn off with LinkedIn

LinkedIn off with LinkedIn

Generic and bland automated content and spam, gratuitous self-promotion, dubious photos or quizzes are the norm. LinkedIn is morphing into an unregulated platform for people to share whatever they want. There is nothing wrong with that per se, if you are interested in that sort of thing. I just want to be able to filter it out, as you can on other platforms.

The extension of the self-publishing facility, LinkedIn Pulse has become a license to publish … well…anything. Thousands do so with no control over quality or content. Members are posting adverts for jobs and services, plus links to other articles with no content at all. Sorting through updates now takes up too much time. The good content gets lost in all the nonsense I see in my stream. Babies, cars, even women in bikinis, and men liking photos of a woman in transparent black mesh pant suit.

Sure it’s ART

There are a huge number of changes and tweaks, presented as improved features. This quote from Henry Havelock Ellis comes to mind: What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.

Freedom of choice

I am not suggesting that people shouldn’t publish what they want. I just don’t want to see it. Just as you can with other platforms. Barbara Safani made a case  that variety of exchange makes up the composition, of any workplace. That is true, but I wouldn’t hang out with women in black mesh pant suits or bikinis around a water cooler and I want that option restored on LinkedIn.

I want what I signed up for – professional content.

I want to filter out the stuff I don’t want to see and only focus on the content I’m interested in. You can do this with Twitter on Tweetdeck or Hoot Suite and Facebook.

For Premium membership  – I expect a premium service. I wasn’t getting it.

If you would like to campaign for tighter control from LinkedIn please share using hashtag #LinkedOff and flag and report all instances of inappropriate content!

17 thoughts on “Why I’ve LinkedOff

  1. Mark Lee

    Wow. Really surprised by this. Saw a link to your headline and was curious as I’ve never seen any such images in my newsfeed.

    I have also long maintained and told social media virgins to recognise that Linkedin is a professional online business networking site. I see very little in the way of ‘social’ posts on there – vs business focused posts.

    How can two well connected people have such different experiences of Linkedin? It must all come down to the people with whom we are connected and the different ways they use the site.

    Having said all that, I entirely agree that if other sites can block inappropriate images then Linkedin should be able to do the same. Maybe it just hasn’t been an issue before.

    Reply
    1. Dorothy Dalton Post author

      Thanks Mark – I have been surprised at the number of senior and well-established people who are willing to post and share either poor or inappropriate content. If you “like” something on Facebook it doesn’t get shared, whereas on LinkedIn it does. LinkedIn should not allow fake profiles and images such as that to be circulated. You will notice the number of people who been shared that particular image. I obviously disconnect with anyone who does that.

      Reply
  2. Adonya Wong

    Wow, Dorothy! Although, I “LinkedOff” and Face(un)book’d over 6 weeks ago (still dancin’ an Irish jig for this choice), I am nonetheless stunned by YOUR experience. You have my sympathy, Goddess.

    Also, kudos for taking a stand, and saying NO to the nonsense. More people should follow your example!

    Reply
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  4. Eszter Szabo

    I have not seen women photos yet.
    Some quiz – yes.
    Some fake profiles – yes.
    Who can make a difference on LinkedIn
    -your connections with more understanding what this social media is for
    -us, who can disconnect with violators & and report on them
    -LinkedIn – with better filter
    Sign of hope – LinkedIn started a discussion asking for feedback on the channel. I have contributed.
    For me, I am based in the middle of Central Europe, Budapest, LinkedIn has been a great tool to listen to what is going on, to connect with key business and government players and to engage in discussions.
    My suggestion to LinkedIn is to listen to Dorothy Dalton and others and to all of us on LinkedIn to use it only in line with what this channel was set up for.

    Reply
    1. Dorothy Dalton Post author

      Hi Eszter – Thanks for your message. It’s everywhere and images are being circulated quite widely, although there are a number of campaigns to deal with this which seem to be working. We all have to take a stand in our own way.

      Reply
  5. Stuart Millard

    I completely agree with everything in this post. I used LinkedIn to expand my professional network whilst being made redundant from a job after 14 years, and used it again when the job I moved to didn’t work out. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and UnTappd, it’s on those network (well, not Foursquare and UnTappd) that I’d expect to see the quiz pictures, images of semi-naked women (and men) or irrelevant religious/moralistic/junk postings, not LinkedIn. If anything, it makes me want to interact less with people who might add me that I don’t already know. I’m glad I don’t pay for a premium subscription as I’d be as peeved as you with the current swathe of content that takes longer to wade through to find something relevant to my interests!

    Reply
  6. Gary Dick

    I feel your pain. The whole picture thing grew out of a demand for the ability to respond to and enhance technical discussions within groups. LinkedIn’s response was to severely limit group discussions and force everyone to publish instead. If you are/were a heavy group user/participant, you can see how most of them have dried up content wise and are turning into sales platforms. Be careful what you ask for I guess.

    You’re not alone. I’d take a look at this posting which is still going strong in views and comments:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dear-linkedin-youre-starting-suck-12-things-you-need-fix-pitchford?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

    Unhappiness is widespread but fragmented.

    Reply
    1. Dorothy Dalton Post author

      Hi All – thanks for the engagement. There are a number of conversations going on simultaneously on this topic but as you say Gary not integrated. LinkedIn seems to be caught between wanting to provide an enterprise platform and recruiting tool and a general social media hang out. There are now mismatched expectations with no really easy way to filter out the stuff that’s not interesting other than individual blocking. It seems to have lost its focus and direction. LinkedIn usage is becoming a time eater with better content and engagement on Facebook currently.

      Let’s see if anyone listens!

      Reply
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  11. Jeff

    Just got a LinkedIn invitation from a woman whose profile simply stated she was looking for a serious relationship.

    The stupid quizes and clickbait articles is why I never read my LinkedIn “feed”, but this is the first time I’ve seen abuse of the connection network itself.

    Reply
    1. Dorothy Dalton Post author

      Hi Jeff – yes many of us are disappointed witht the shift in LinkedIn. I understand than men have some as the same difficulties as women with inappopriate images and advances.

      Here is a post on some research one of my writers carried ouot http://3plusinternational.com/2016/05/linked-together-women-using-linkedin-for-dating/

      I’m a head hunter so use it from that perspective but consult it less now than I did for information. Unlike Twitter and FB there is no way to block out the white noise.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Dorothy

      Reply
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