Has LinkedIn Run Its Course?

LinkedIn logoIs LinkedIn missing the boat in keeping up with Facebook? Is it due to inability to utilize various applications, tools, etc. in making the social networking experience more enjoyable and less regimented. Hey, one can’t even make text “bold” in a discussion!

Would the ability to post actual audio and video within discussions enhance the experience? Has LinkedIn just become a social networking HR site and nothing more? If, and when, the economy turns around and unemployment falls to more respectable levels, will LinkedIn activity decrease significantly?

Personally, I do believe LinkedIn is missing the boat, but I would love to hear your opinion as well.

Please Note

Within 15 minutes of posting this discussion on a Linkedin group, I received the following response that I now feel compelled to share with my readers, along with my response to the same which should clarify that I am, in fact, a Linkedin proponent and only am looking for added enhancements and features to LinkedIn.

Owner of a Marketing Group responded: “Has LinkedIn run its course? Not even close. If you feel it has, move on, and stick to Facebook, period. We have had remarkable results, 20+ new clients in 2009 alone, due to LinkedIn. But, then again, we have a tangible service. How is the “Social Media Coach” biz treating you? If it were not for LinkedIn, I doubt you would even be brandishing that fancy title. Please keep that in mind when being negative about all the benefits that a 100% no-cost LinkedIn account can produce.”

I responded accordingly: “Just because I asked a question, does not mean I am negative. If anything, I utilize social media to encourage participation, which is an integral part of successful social networking.

Further, as much as I utilize LinkedIn, I would like to see more features and enhancements, just as I would with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media. And, the best way to get LinkedIn to take a look at adding the same, is to discuss the same within the groups. More than likely they are already considering the features I mentioned. Maybe some more discussion would move them along.

I would highly recommend you consider adding Facebook, Twitter and other social media to your LinkedIn activity and your 20+ new clients might have been 40 or more. Integrating all types of social media together, and with traditional marketing, has proven quite successful for many businesses and is advocated by many leading social media experts.

Last, I’m a firm believer in the positive, and in developing and strengthening relationships with everyone and anyone I can help, or that can help me. That being said, I’m amazed you’re as successful as you claim with such a condescending attitude and your lack of ability to see beyond the obvious. So, please consider this social media coaching on the house and with my sincerest compliments.

Oh, and by the way, if you truly embrace LinkedIn and all it has to offer, I would think you would have followed a very common LinkedIn tip, and check an individual’s LinkedIn profile, including connections, group membership and discussion activity, before engaging that individual. In my case, you would have certainly realized I am a LinkedIn proponent by the number of my connections and extensive group participation both in posting discussions and responses alike.”

8 thoughts on “Has LinkedIn Run Its Course?

  1. I’m a fan of a few social networks. The three that I use the most are twitter, facebook and Linkedin. Each does something different:

    Twitter is great for enlarging your circle, meeting people and spreading your story.
    Facebook is great for the opposite – it allows you to circle the wagons with a smaller group that you trust and share a higher level of information that covers both personal and business.
    Linkedin is more of a business networking tool. I use the groups as discussion forums and use my contact list as a way to keep tabs on my networking circle.

    All three are really neccesary and lately, I’ve seen an uptick on Linkedin in the franchise industry.

  2. Yes, I agree with you about the Facebook apps and games. Personally, I find them very annoying, especially as they are intrusive. If they were off to the side and I could opt to visit them on the side, fine. But, as they fall right in the middle of normal, routine Facebook activity, I find them annoying.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. i love facebook. i love linkedin. I don’t want linkedin to be like facebook. linkedin has a clean and simple interface which is what i need for the reasons i go there. i don’t want the clutter of apps you get in facebook although they are fun (when i need mindless entertainment).

  4. Here’s a response posted by Joe Stein on Linkedin Facebook group:

    I like LinkedIn from professional connection perspective (of course) and it does a better job than Facebook in regards to groups (by far!). Besides these two points it just does not allow an open API solution for developers and from a true “social networking” perspective is limiting/stagnant.

    Now, it is possible that having kept their system closed and not opening up their API to developers has allowed them to properly control their brand in regards to what their social network is trying to achieve (in their corporate mind). The question is how much longer will they be able to keep a viable social network without allowing any developer to (or even just some developers) to integrate with their social platform.

    I do like keeping my friends on Facebook and my colleagues on LinkedIm but there is a lot more I could do with my colleagues if I could just use LinkedIn’s API. Here is what LinkedIn says about it.

    “Get Started with the Platform

    LinkedIn allows developers to build applications that run on LinkedIn user’s home and profile pages. Applications currently available can be seen and installed from the Application Directory. LinkedIn applications are developed using the OpenSocial development model.

    How to develop for the Platform

    The LinkedIn application platform is not publicly available for all developers. We evaluate requests to develop for the LinkedIn platform from partners who have clearly compelling value to our users and who can rigorously follow our privacy policies. We are looking for applications that provide clear business utility to LinkedIn users. LinkedIn is not a place for sheep throwing. There is equal opportunity to build applications that apply to all LinkedIn users as there is to develop applications that apply to just a targeted portion of the user base. If you think you qualify and have a compelling user value proposition, let us know using the form below.”

  5. Boe, as always, thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight.

    I agree that LinkedIn will be around for a long time, possibly longer than Facebook and Twitter for the reasons you mentioned.

    My premise for posing my question is more from a position of frustration that other sites provide more features and enhancements and “live” interactivity, and many people like that. Which is why, I believe, membership at those sites has skyrocketed. Certainly, I will not diminish 40 million members as anything to sneeze at, but it is drastically lower than the 300 million that Facebook boasts.

    Right now, I never see myself wandering away from LinkedIn as I too, have had tremendous success utilizing LinkedIn to build my database and develop relationships that together has been the cornerstone of my business. I just would like to see the folks at LinkedIn put some more pep in their step and add some features and enhancements that will keep the network exciting and more interactive in a “live” sense. If not, I believe they will be missing the boat and a tremendous opportunity to not only be the best social network, but the biggest as well.

    Certainly, bigger doesn’t make anything better, but as successful as Linkedin has been for both you and me, I, for one, am all for being able to tap into millions of more Linkedin users.

  6. Paul,

    Linked In is so much more than a recruiter’s website. I’m not a recruiter, and I use the site constantly for numerous other business applications, charity connections and research projects. It’s search capabilities with a data base of 40M individuals, is an incredible resource for my clients and my team. I do agree with you in that, they could offer a few more features, that might enhance the Linked In experience.

    Linked In may not be growing as quickly as Facebook, but that surely doesn’t diminish the value of this professional networking site. I have been able to grow my network into a global business resource that I wouldn’t take any amount of money for. I couldn’t have dreamed just a few years ago that I would have direct access to over 40M people across the world with a click of a mouse. If people utilize this site to its capabilities, you wouldn’t be asking the questions you have posed on Facebook.

    Linked in has brought me so much business and countless valuable relationships through networking, group discussions, introductions, and referrals. I have been able to receive recommendations with verbiage normally reserved for funerals. Genuine recommendations which add such value and credibility to your business, are made so easy by utilizing Linked In.

    I submit that Linked In, not Facebook or Twitter offers amazing security for it’s members. Both of the other sites are constantly being attacked and knocked offline due to security breaches. Constant hacker threats on the other sites causes me to pose the question, why would anyone want to place their personal information at risk on sites such as Facebook and Twitter? I have never had even a hint of a security risk on Linked In. So I guess my answer to your question Paul is, Linked In will be around for a lot of years to come, long after FB and Twitter lose their members due to a continued threat of identity theft and viruses.

    Boe Parrish
    Corporate Care, Inc.

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