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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012, 12:06 pm

What’s the Point of LinkedIn?

Old chain

LIKE most people on that site, I joined LinkedIn several years ago after a friend had invited me. For many years I did nothing with the account, but in more recent years the site grew rapidly in terms of popularity and is now a status symbol by some people’s imagination. It’s a bit like Facebook for professionals. But what really is that point of it all? It’s all rather superficial and the process of connecting to peers and friends (or ex-colleagues) is very time-consuming. When one considers what can be gained from having one’s name in a database associated with many other names, then the reality of the matter becomes clearer. Have we come to a point in the lifecycle of the Internet where we score people’s popularity based on the hours they dedicate to clicking to modify some proprietary database of some private company? Frankly, I stopped spending time in LinkedIn and my profile there is very much outdated (last updated properly in 2006). Can there finally be consensus on the irrelevance of public profiles that are merely the entry in someone else’s Web site? It’s just a MySpace for adults and the function is tracking other people’s careers is often overstated as crucial. It’s more like gossip or stalking.

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