There are a few annoying tendencies that I have been noticing about LinkedIn for the past several months:
1) Gratuitous recommendations. You open up your Inbox and find that some unremarkable colleague that you worked with five years ago is asking you for a recommendation, and promising to give you a stellar recommendation in return. Usually this ex-colleague is looking to change jobs, and wants to load up on praise. You then have to spend the next 15 minutes remembering what this person actually did on your team, and try to grasp at straws in order to say something positive about him. The verbiage associated with LinkedIn recommendations is always the same. As a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is pure noise.
2) Unsolicited ads and spam on LinkedIn Groups. It seems that new groups pop up every day, taking a simple domain and dicing and slicing it 20 ways. There is a group for Wall Street, a group for Wall Streeters who are left-handed, a group for Wall Streeters who take the subway more than 5 stops, etc. It seems that the moderators of these groups will let anyone who has a pulse into the group.
I joined a group about Wall Street the other day, and the first discussion on the group was from a real estate agent from Prudential Realtors, looking to sell condos and co-ops in New York. Recruiters and outsourcers troll these groups, posting ads for opportunities and peddling their wares, thus avoiding having to pay any fees to LinkedIn for job postings. People like these cheapen the groups.
3) There are a large number of recruiters who send you LinkedIn invitations. Why in the world would I let a recruiter see my contacts? Some of these contacts are fairly high up in the food chain. I don't want a recruiter contacting them. I almost never accept invites from recruiters. There is an implication that, if you have a LinkedIn contact, you know that person and like them enough to let them participate in your network.
LinkedIn is a truly useful tool. However, I think that it has "jumped the shark". LinkedIn needs to give the user additional options to control the increasing amount of spam that is invading the network.
©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.