Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Is LinkedIn the new Facebook?

My patience is wearing thin.  I saw a stat recently that showed that Linkedin is used by less than 1% of the users of Facebook.  On the surface, not so surprising; however, based on the trends I am seeing on LinkedIn there’s a lot of business people who need to get a Facebook account. And quick.

I’m sick and tired of your word games and number puzzles so difficult they wouldn’t challenge a nine year old.   I don’t want to see your selfie with Trump and I don’t want to hear about or see your cat.   LinkedIn is losing decorum as a place where professionals mingle with their colleagues and network.  It can be an excellent place to learn, to expand your network and to build your career but it’s not Facebook.  Yet more and more users seem to think everyone is interested in their cat.  It has got to stop.

I’ve curated my network.  I’ve worked at making sure I have something – often a lot – in common with the people I am connected to.  I want to learn from them, understand how I can help them and know whether they are looking for something new.   I want to be able to reach out to this group with my own questions and needs – especially now as I am looking for my own new role.   Increasingly, I find myself blocking anyone who is ‘Facebooking’ my Linkedin.  It’s distracting and it’s got to stop.  You wouldn’t place a water cooler in your office.  Leave it in the cafeteria (Facebook) where it belongs.

It may be possible that LinkedIn has become so big we are starting to sense its apotheosis.  The point at which utility is beginning to slow or decline due to the sheer size and inherent conflict within the audience and user base.  How online social networks die is a subject so new there’s few examples (myspace), but there does seem to be some truth to the idea that there’s an natural evolution to social networks that produce, at some point, a gradual and inevitable decline in utility.  I’d wager it is the first movers who reach this conclusion soonest.

Michael Cairns has served as CEO and President of several technology and content-centric business supporting global media publishers, retailers and service providers. He can be reached at michael.cairns@outlook.com and is interested in discussing executive management and/or board and advisory positions. He blogs at personanondata.com

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