Nov. 29th, 2016 12:12 am
xela: Photo of me (me)
[personal profile] xela
I just logged in to LinkedIn for the first time in like a year and accepted several invitations that have mostly been lingering far too long. If you're one of the people whose invitation I just accepted, sorry for the delay.

I have mixed feelings about LinkedIn. On the one hand, I very much like the concept of having an online facility for keeping track of people I've worked with and would almost certainly otherwise lose all contact with. On the other hand, it's basically run as a spam farm. (Yes, I'm sure they stay clear of doing anything actually illegal. In fact, I'm sure they have a whole passel of lawyers whose job is to keep them from straying over the line. Too far over. That's the problem.) I've spent hours trying to imagine how it might be possible to run such a network as a non-profit. (As a viable non-profit, that is; running it as a non-profit on the road to bankruptcy would be trivial.) And concluded that it's going to take something entirely out of left field — a black swan, to use a locution from this century — to dislodge LinkedIn. And so, with feelings very much reminiscent of those times when I've had to choose between don't do the thing and use Microsoft Windows to do the thing, I continue to use LinkedIn.

(Which is an odd way to lead in to my actual point here. But then, until an hour ago, at no time in the past three weeks did I expect my first post-election LJ post to be anything other than an anguished mediation I'd end up entitling something like Whither America?)

Anyway. After accepting the invitations, I scrolled through people you may know, quickly spotting a dozen people I'd at the very least want to spend five minutes catching up with if I saw them at a trade show. I suspect that what a person who was actually versed in twenty-first century social customs would do is just click the "Connect" button under those people's names. But I wanted to check with you all first. Not least because the years sometimes seem to have done nothing whatsoever to diminish my capacity for getting social cues completely wrong.

So, do normal people, when they find themselves scrolling through LinkedIn's people you may know, just click the "Connect" button when they see someone they'd at least want to say hi to if they saw them in person?

Date: 2016-11-29 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would - with the understanding that if they don't accept the request, it's most likely merely an indicator that they aren't currently using the site, as you say. My perception of social cues is not always the keenest, though, so I'm interested to see what others say as well.

Date: 2016-11-29 08:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Linkedin doesn't strike me as a very intense site social wise. I go on it rarely because I'm looking for something specific or want to contact someone specific, and hope my message will reach them by email. If I do ever contact them, it will be to offer them something useful, (come and talk about your subject and get paid, there's a job going you might be interested in.)
Thus I'll try and connect to anyone offered - but professionals, not my ex students unless they have become professionals and built up useful experience. (Don't want lazy students pestering my old co-workers.)

Date: 2016-11-29 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I use LinkedIn; more so now that some of my professional life is freelance. I like it that companies and other organisations have LI presences.

Sometimes I trawl through people you may know but I don't find that very useful. Eg am I 'linked' with you? Perhaps I should be. What's your LI username?

Occasionally people you may know finds members of my vast family. For rellies I want to keep in touch with, I use email.

Date: 2016-11-29 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Soon after you started this thread I got one of the usual emails from LI inviting me to 'see what [my] network ha[d] been up to.' I was told how many of my LI contacts had posted 'updates', how many 'messages' had been sent to me and how many people had 'job change[s]'.

Logging onto LI was supposed to lead me to more info but it didn't. I've been on LJ for many years but I still find it awkward to use.

Date: 2016-11-29 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not a social site. It's a business site.

It's about references and who could get a job.

I ignore requests from linked in, unless they are reasonably business related.

Date: 2016-11-29 04:10 pm (UTC)
jered: (roof1)
From: [personal profile] jered
I consider LinkedIn to be very "promiscuous" compared to other social networking sites (where I actually make an effort to follow what's going on with the people I'm connected with). So, I accept basically all requests from people I know, even just socially in passing, while avoiding the endless stream of outsourcers and recruiters trying to connect. The main uses I see for LinkedIn, which requires people to be in my extended network:
1) Trying to learn more about someone I'm working with in a business context, like their title and responsibilities, so I can figure out if they're the right person,
2) Trying to connect with someone with legitimate (not spammy, sometimes hard to quantify) business contexts.

Mostly it's just a wasteland of hucksters and self-promoters... but that's the Internet in general these days.

Date: 2016-11-30 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-anne wolf (from
I like to keep in touch with people I used to work with. I do connect with people who are suggested, if I know them.

One thing that bothers me is when I get invitations to connect with people whom I do not know. If I wanted to be ultra cautious about when to connect with people, I would make a custom message for each invitation reminding the other person of how we know each other, in case I am not as memorable to them as they were to me. I do not always do this, but if enough time has passed then I sometimes do it.


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