One man's view of the state of Linkedin

This is our second installment on our series on Linkedin and it's value and I’m going to look at it from a very selfish perspective: How I use it, where I value it and where my frustrations are. We’ll follow up with input from other sources in the next installment for perspective.

First off, I’m a big Facebook user. I’m on it several times a day and I crowdsource a lot of information there. I barely pay attention to Twitter. Linkedin falls in between the two. I do a little in Pinterest, Instagram and a handful of others just to experiment and say I know something about them, but that’s where I’m focused.

At the top of the value list I put Linkedin Groups, which is like diamond mining. You have to go through a lot of mud, rock and dirt to find something of great value. I participate in multiple groups, some more than others, and have launched a couple with varying degrees of success, and I regularly add and cull from my list. I’ll get into why I do that a bit later.

For me, content on Linkedin tends to be more timely and unique than what I get in my Facebook feed. There are fewer shares of of general news because people rarely share articles from the Washington Post and Politico and I’ve never seen shared content from click bait sites like Gawker and Vox. Most of the shared content on Linkedin I see is business and technology related. In fact, Linkedin is a great way to get away from national politics,

Linkedin is very valuable as a blog platform. I’ve learned more on what interests people, what specific types of people are interested in, and what subjects are generally a waste of time. Thoughts and information that someone found interesting in random one-on-one discussion rarely get a lot of attention, but put those thoughts and information in context with a news event of that week get huge amounts of attention. I share most of what I create on Linkedin with my Facebook and Twitter followers as well, almost invariably, my Linkedin content sharing is more popular on those platforms than on my own blogs.

That’s the good.

The bad is the spam.  My Facebook and Twitter accounts are properly filtered to keep spam at a minimum. I haven’t found a good way to do that on Linkedin. There are multiple learning sites and articles in Linkedin support that tell you how to set your profile to limit that unwanted content, but it also limits who sees you or can see you. Unlike Facebook, where you can filter individual content and help the page to learn what you don’t like, Linkedin has an all or nothing approach. That means lots of annoying people can contact you with useless offers to buy stuff and services.

In my case, because I have written about SEO and where it fails, I am barraged by SEO, lead generation and other marketing services asking to have a chat and demo. I also get blind requests from people who have paid Linkedin to scrub information from some of the groups I belong to and send me blind email requests. When that happens I go into the groups that they indicate as common to us and reevaluate whether I should continue in them. Two of three inspections usually ends my membership.

As I said before, I’ve had some success using Linkedin to raise visibility and drive lead generation for several clients as well as for Footwasher Media. It takes time and thought to do it right, and it isn’t a good medium for email-blasting. It’s good for making valuable connections. That, in the end is what it is all about.

That’s my view of the state of Linkedin, but that’s one man’s view. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be doing a pod cast as the third part of this series to get the view of other Linkedin users. If you’d like to participate, got to this form and provide me contact information and a brief statement about what you think is good and bad about it platform. We will pick a couple and get back to you.