What is Linked In for? Anybody know?

Over the last couple of years I’ve added contacts to Linked In with a certain amount of consideration. In other words, I’ve added only links that are “real” in some sense; they are friends and friends of friends, and colleagues and colleagues of colleagues who’s name I recognized. Then, yesterday, my password was published on the internet. That’s now been changed, but again, it is effort I’ve expended.

I’ve gotten no benefit from being on Linked In. So far, I’ve spent time, and I’ve been at risk but with no reward.

Why am I here and why should I stay? Anybody know?


Photo by Linda Cronin

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19 thoughts on “What is Linked In for? Anybody know?

  1. You are not looking for a job are you? Value of LinkedIn.
    FWIW, I am on LinkedIn but not on Facebook. While Matlab’s Matlab Central is more useful for finding particular m.files, LinkedIn allows me to query “trusted” experts for guidance on a particular problem or technique. All depends how you use it.

  2. I hope you find out. I continue to get requests to join – fellow faculty, former students (not for $1 million there, from the ones who’ve been named), but I am with you: I’ve never gotten a good explanation for the benefit it would bring. Perhaps if I were in a business career?

  3. I have been on LinkedIn for a dozen years, since a friend bugged me to join with him. I have not been on since.

    I was hoping the hackers would publish my password, since I have no idea what it was.

    But seriously, my wife is a software consultant and it has been marginally beneficial in maintaining contacts for finding new work.

  4. Our graduates use it as a way of making reference and alumni contact… but we are a college of business. Not sure how applicable it would be in other fields.

  5. It’s just an on-line resume/c.v.. It’s completely useless otherwise. The science-oriented “groups” have some signal, but is drowned out by the noise of the marketers and the recruiters. The Web 2.0 interface is a huge step backwards from earlier Internet e-conferences.

    –bks

  6. LinkedIn helps potential clients,consultants and collaborators check each other out. It’s also valuable if you’re a career changer and wish to keep in touch with folks from your checkered past.

  7. LinkedIn is helpful for keeping tabs on past business and professional contacts, and not as much of a timewaster as Facebook. I find it helpful. I don’t have anything very personal on LinkedIn, since I expect recruiters to seek me out there; nothing too embarrassing to leak.
    When you say your “password was published”, are you referring to the 6,400,001 password hashcodes recently revealed as leaked? If so, that’s a reason to change your password but not to panic. The password hashcodes are not by themselves sufficient to login to your account, they just make it easier for someone to hack in by reducing the possible permutations of your password to check. It’s still non-trivial to break into an arbitrary account, and a neglected account is not of much value. I assume LinkedIn has put in some more measures to counteract the kind of attacks that would exploit this leak. The thing I worry about is, what else was leaked that we don’t know about?
    According to http://www.leakedin.org, my old (and not very strong) password is leaked but not known to be cracked.

  8. The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.

  9. Bawga said: “The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.”

    Not quite so. That may be the way they generate revenue, but a real business model isn’t just about revenue. At a minimum there is also “acquire and retain market share”, which necessitates providing a good or service (or at very least pretending to).

    For me, Google provides very useful services which I’m quite willing to pay for by giving them info. Facebook, not so much. I’m not on Linked-in, but may soon since the branding around business (especially technical) may have created an emergent filter of sorts appropriate for me at the moment since I’m looking for technical work.

  10. Bawga said: “The sole purpose of LinkedIn is to extract data from its users in order to facilitate hyper-targeted marketing. See also: Facebook, Google.”

    Not quite so. That may be the way they generate revenue, but a real business model isn’t just about revenue. At a minimum there is also “acquire and retain market share”, which necessitates providing a good or service (or at very least pretending to).

    For me, Google provides very useful services which I’m quite willing to pay for by giving them info. Facebook, not so much. I’m not on Linked-in, but may soon since the branding around business (especially technical) may have created an emergent filter of sorts appropriate for me at the moment since I’m looking for technical work.

  11. It seems to me the only purpose of LinkedIn is to spam people with invites to LinkedIn.

    Yes, it’s less of a timewaster than Facebook, but mostly because there’s other uses for Facebook.

    LinkedIn only spams people. I guess the idea is that once you join, their system won’t spam you any more, therefore an advantage.

  12. Not sure myself. Have professional contacts on mine, but so far haven’t had to use linked in to find contracts–word of mouth and personal contacts is still by far the more productive method in finding my next job.

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