Why I am not on LinkedIn

I left LinkedIn some time ago, and although my profile is gone bits of it still come back to haunt me, or at least they seem to. I got little from LinkedIn and believe I have far better things I can spend my time on, ultimately a poor profile is worse than no profile at all.

Introduction

There is a chance that you found this page because you are looking for my LinkedIn profile, if so relax you can stop looking, I am not there. Despite not being on LinkedIn I seem to be able to continue to find jobs and work and my professional network is expanding rapidly.

LinkedIn may well work for you and some others, I don’t dispute that and I am looking from the point of view of an individual (with a technological background) rather than a corporation, some of the reasons it didn’t work for me:

  • better things to do with my time
  • too much unreliable information
  • spam, some of it quite dodgy
  • no profile is better than a partial profile in my opinion

A better use of my time and data

There are a bewildering array of advice posts, books, even seminars. about how to use LinkedIn to get the most out of it, either we are mostly stupid or it is quite complex and time consuming to use effectively. Even if you look at it superficially it can obviously consume a fair amount of time to keep your profile up to date effectively. Time is valuable, I would rather invest it in my own projects, websites and networking with real people face to face. It will take a while but eventually somebody with web development skills should be able to make a LinkedIn profile irrelevant.

This web site which is growing slowly with a few minutes spent here and there is one example of time better spent. The recent opening of the LinkedIn publishing platform just compounds the problem. I don’t want to put my content on LinkedIn yet eventually a profile may look spartan without it in some industry sectors.

LinkedIn time was always tedious and un-fun for me, I would rather do something more enjoyable, with Twitter, Facebook, personal websites, profiles on Drupal.org I rarely see anybody doing a good job of maintaining them all, LinkedIn being one of the weakest links had to go.

Too much unreliable information

I don’t really know what to say here, I have seen too many ‘endorsements’ ranging from inaccurate to simply ludicrous, I would be stupid to trust them on people I don’t know. I had offers to “swap” ‘recommendations’. There again I saw talented people with poor profiles. A director who had to leave due to fraud with an apparently strong profile 6 months later…. If the information about people I know can be so wrong, what use to me is the system regarding people I don’t know?

The blog-sphere is full of posts telling you how to “manage” endorsements and recommendations or questioning their accuracy, I don’t want to play this game.

Too much spam

LinkedIn sent me a lot of spam, I am not sure what their current email policies are but at the time they “tricked” you into letting them send email on your behalf, which meant that I got LinkedIn spam that appeared to come from people I know. This is just plain evil, I still get the occasional connection request to the email address I used to use for LinkedIn from people I know even though they have been using a different email address for me for ages. I seems as if LinkedIn is matching what they still know about me with addresses in somebodies contact list.

I am sure there are settings that would have allowed me to adjust the spam I was getting but by that point I didn’t really care.

Who needs a partial profile?

I wasn’t going to have the energy or interest to maintain a good LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn you were the weakest link in my networking toolbox, goodbye.

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