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Des Moines, Iowa
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LinkedIn.com – What it is and what it could be

Geoff Wood

LinkedIn is one of three social networking platforms that I use on a consistent basis. It’s one of my favorites both for its current uses and for what I see as its potential.

I love that it is focused on business and has been easily accepted by professionals. Social media, due to its history, is often thought of as a bit of a “kid thing” however LinkedIn and its focus on business are doing their part to change that perception. The platform has been adopted well by a professional audience and that has led to enhanced second generation functionality such as the company database – an aggregation of data on firms based on the information self-reported by employees.

However, LinkedIn is also extremely frustrating. A platform that’s doing so many things well loses a little bit of credibility every time is breaks. As a daily user of the platform, it’s my belief that the following three issues need to be resolved as soon as possible:

  1. Stability. LinkedIn is almost infamous for instability – there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason to it.
  2. “People You May Know” This option is great for expanding your network – when it works. I have no idea what algorithm they’ve designed to potentially associate people in the system but the people I’m shown are rarely people I do know. In addition, once I’ve told the system that I don’t know them they tend to not go away.
  3. “Just Joined LinkedIn” This functionality is great way to find people that you went to school with or worked with at a past company. However, as a user, I’d expect that once I’ve looked at the list and decided I don’t know someone that they won’t continue to appear in the list. Not the case.

As I said, LinkedIn is a great social networking platform. They’ve made some great strides recently, such as ironing out issues with the company directory, and I’m hopeful that they can clean up some of these issues in the short term to maximize its credibility and usefulness for the future.