There is no preamble here where I use the sandwich technique and talk about the good, the bad, and then the good, or the history and benefits of LinkedIn, but rather just the reasons why I think LinkedIn is an absolute waste of time.
That aside, let's have at it.
On a standard day, I get about 1-2 contact requests from people I don't know, or from fake profiles of people I don't know and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. If I haven't met you in person, exchanged a phone call or email, or had no communication whatsoever you can go fuck yourself. Ok, I said it.
You have to ask yourself "When was the last time I actually received a meaningful contact request from someone that you haven't met?"
Here's a sampling of the types of contact requests I've received recently:
CEO's of large global banks
Random people with high-level titles in the financial services industry
CEO's of global blue chip corporations
Generals and high ranking officers from the US Military
High ranking US government officials in charge of nuclear missile programs
Hayden Panettiere (unfortunately fake)
Students from third world countries
Random people from the strangest industries and roles such as plastic film wrapping technologist or something. It was so important I recalled it instantly. And the list goes on.
To me, it seems that most people just want to haphazardly connect to anyone they possibly can irrespective of the quality or caliber. While I see this totally desperate and lame angle, it totally defeats the purpose of what LinkedIn is intended for -- which is keeping track of "your" network of the people that you know and are important to you in some way. Having any of the above unknown, fake, bullshit profiles associated with your network is like taking a dump on clean white pressed bedsheets.
Honestly, I cannot even remember the last time I received an invite or an InMail that was thought provoking, meaningful, and legitimate. Maybe 1 in 5000 are genuine aside from the ones that come as result of people you meet face-to-face at a business event for example.
Here's the last InMail I received from someone who's cold email marketing was about as useless as tits on a nun:
Good day! How are you? Fine?I hope everything is going well and this email receives you well! I was impressed with your LinkedIn profile and I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself and my company It seems like you have a lot of experience. We are an award winning company that specializes....
When someone asks me if this "email has received me well" I just want to trash a public restroom like Adam Sandler from Punch Drunk Love. I actually went to their website and they won exactly ZERO awards, so this was clearly a great start for him.
Seriously, fuck you buddy and your useless patronizing drivel that nobody even looking for whatever the hell you are offering even if they had a budget. I was debating whether or not I would reply to him just to mess with him, and then shoot him down and watch as his ego goes down in a ball of flames. Sometimes that's just natures way of telling people that their marketing is absolutely worthless and they should jump off the nearest bridge.
Another noteworthy pulitzer prize-winning InMail came to me courtesy of a woman from India who's title was "Sr. Business Development Director, MBA". She worked at a company that was essentially a competitor of my company in almost every single way, and she had written about a solid page of text talking about how she thoroughly researched my company, and that she sees a lot of "synergies" for business together, etc etc not realizing that it was reminiscent of her selling ice to a fuckin' Eskimo. Nothing says "Sr. Business Development Director, MBA" like a fuck up like this. It can be chalked up to "spray and pray" marketing. Her success/close rate is probably is probably 1 in 100k, maybe.
The entire integrity and quality of contacts and networks on LinkedIn is being compromised, and hijacked, largely, for "marketing" purposes. I've seen people in my contact network non-chalantly connecting to unknowingly, what are clearly fake profiles just to build a contact network to spam to. I'll be willing to wager that a solid 20% of peoples contacts are total fabrications of epic proportions.
Doing a reverse image search on these suspect profiles pictures reveal stock photos, which is clearly a breach of LinkedIn's terms of service -- essentially equating to misrepresentation. And what is LinkedIn doing about this? Basically jack fucking squat as far as I can tell.
2. Consuming news or "information" just breaks down due to volume, and doesn't scale for human consumption. Most posts are also absolutely worthless on many levels
LinkedIn has grown from a very good idea in theory, into an absolute cluster fuck of epic proportions due to sheer volume of users posting, and the absolutely useless shit they post.
This type of platform -- for the average user, just breaks down as an information consumption mechanism. The news feed might as well be a fuckin' stock ticker that scrolls across the screen or a high-speed conveyor belt. People end up having to post the same bullshit promotional crap from their company or product, that I really couldn't give a shit about. There is probably a 112% chance that nobody on the planet gives a shit about the post of your companies booth at an exhibition and to "come on by".
My news feed is littered with motivational quotes from random deceased leaders or spiritual figures, as well as Richard Branson. I see about 45 motivational quotes from Richard Branson daily. Every time I see his face I literally just want to put my fist through the screen. Let's not forget the motivational quotes that tell you that failing constantly is eventual success, and to "hang in there and tough it out", in case anyone forgot that life isn't like the movies or reality TV shows that hypnotize the masses into a false sense of aspiration to lifestyles and material wealth that you don't need.
There was a quote recently from Henry Kissinger talking about freedom. That's like Jeffrey Dahmer talking about culinary arts.
There is also a never ending stream of this shit:
Choose your birth date, and I'll tell you how your career will be in 2015.
Solve this, and we will offer you a great job in a top IT company.
What’s the first word you see?
Solve if “ur” a genius
What is the 5th name? If you answer correctly you may be a genius
90% Fail this Answer
How many balls, triangles, squares
Name a country without the letter “x”
My daughter just got straight A's
I know this is a professional site, but I just got married, got my PhD, got Cancer, became a father...
My mother just had a heart attack...
How many sticks/triangles do you see in this picture?
Can you read the numbers inside the circle?
You have ten seconds to think of a word that starts with "c" and ends with "e"
Plus many more great cult-classics that everyone knows, and fucking hates.
What really blows me away are the brain-dead drones that engage with what is clearly contact harvesting posts to later spam endless crap to your inbox a la the two aforementioned business development experts above. It's like one of those ultra annoying chain emails that your mother keeps sending, threatening the wrath of Satan if you break the chain by not forwarding and irritating your entire contact list, like a case of twin-turbo thermite-grade hemorrhoids. But hey, I am a genius now and I just got an instant job in a top IT company.
And then there's the new updates of people who have new jobs, or simply changed their current or previous job to something that sounds better than they actually have, and then have an endless list of creative-as-fuck responses such as "congrats", or "congrats bob". Wow, don't stress your creativity there folks. There was one guy I recall recently who changed his title to "unemployed, looking for new job" and he received a laundry list of congratulations. Yeah, thanks assholes. Nobody even read past the "Bob Schanklemeyer has a new job..." Yeah, Bob has a new job, looking for a new job, and definitely deserves a congratulations for that, no doubt.
Every third post has something to do with leadership or self help tips on how not to burn-out at work, which oddly enough, is a testament of the experience of being an underpaid, overworked drone working in a global economy where jobs are being outsourced and automated, and people are being kicked to the curb and given a cordial "fuck you".
This, and the majority of worthless posts from LinkedIn Influencers talking about the stupidest fucking topics you can ever imagine grasping for strawsin their quest to become a writer and/or though leader in their industry. These posts are followed by people praising the writer "great article", and nothing more, or people that really want to show up the writer by putting their pointless spin on the topic for correction to boost their own bravado. I quit commenting on LinkedIn since its crystal clear that people use the commenting function just to show everyone how clever or funny or not funny they are. Most fall into the latter category. Nobody even reads the long list of comments, and just types in their response even if the person above essentially writes the same thing. Some comments make no fucking sense.
Here's a snap-shot of the VALUE-ADDED steaming compost heap in my news feed:
Recruiter looking for a Ledger Clerk
Picture of a Chinese guy sitting at a table talking to a middle aged balding dude with a goatee holding a pen and looking serious.
An article on identifying leadership
An article on leadership training and coaching
Another fucking article on leadership, if you just recently took on a leadership role
Career self help to prevent burn-out
A picture of 4 semi-attractive drunk girls dressed in orange clothes and cowboy hats with a caption of, and I shit you not “just work smarter” followed by a smiley face emoticon
Useless post by a company advertising how to cut construction costs using transmitter technology
An article about the Internet of Things
An article about Big Data and how it can literally save a baby from a burning house
A guy posting about his new software version, and how its now in Japanese and Spanish
A picture of an Arab and his wife, with a bunch of Arabic text and crying smiley faces
Self help article on creating money from patience
Another fucking article on leadership
A guy posting that his company is now ranked #2 in a category of business I couldn’t give a fuck about
Post stating how critical career planning is
U R a genius if you can answer this question
So essentially after a read through that shit-stream, my life has new meaning.
A vast majority of people don't actually pay for LinkedIn, and the company is struggling to find ways to coax them into paying. I was paying them $30 a month for many years, and just recently they have downgraded my package, so if I want what I had before I have to essentially pay $60 a month. I'm sorry, and with all due respect you can go and fuck yourself, and while you're at it, the shareholders.
LinkedIn, along with a couple other tech stocks tanked 30% in April, which is no doubt an indication of its bloated over-valued position:
Let's take LinkedIn advertising, which is by and large a monumental waste of time and money. I decided to do several trial runs with some of my company's tried and tested marketing materials for Google AdWords, and I gave LinkedIn Ads a whirl. I ran three separate campaigns over a two month period, and a total of approximately 620k "impressions"were reported to have been shown on my target audience of about 170k people in 3 different industries.
The results were absolutely fucking pitiful.
The average click through rates for all three campaigns were -- and I'm not even remotely exaggerating in any way -- 0.00001%. You got it. A total of 7 people, or bots clicked on my ads, which then resulted in absolutely zero leads. My ROI was ZERO.
I did a Google search to see what other people thought and it was similar to my experience. LinkedIn ads are a complete waste of your marketing budget. In other words, a pile of steaming horse shit has more value than LinkedIn Ads. At least a garden can be fertilized, somewhere.
When my boss at the time asked me how the campaign went I felt so fucking ashamed to report my findings since this was my idea, and I also felt betrayed and "ripped off" like when you get ripped off for paying too much and your friends or family are laughing at you.
With regards to LinkedIn, and its immense user base, it's getting to the point where it hits saturation point (people are just tired of it, too much monetization) and is getting top heavy, with an inevitable tumble down, and the users will slowly start gravitating to the next social media fad.
Nobody can question the proclivity for businesses to shed the freemium business model and start monetizing their service, but there's a right way and a wrong way, and to me, clearly, LinkedIn and its shareholders are getting overly greedy with the higher and higher package prices and adding not much more value, and thus the allure and novelty of the service is being eroded in the name of quarterly revenues.
A slow, and silent "LinkedOut" movement is underway.
You forgot the elephant in the room : LinkedIn has been purchased by Microsoft. Ooch.