Dear Linkedin: You're Not FaceBook

Attention LinkedIn:

I hate to be the one to say it, but you’re not FaceBook.  In an effort to try to be cooler, the quality of the experience is on the decline.

Applications

It would be hard to miss the sudden proliferation of applications available to pimp one’s profile and LinkedIn experience.  Once you leave the home page, access to these applications takes a bit of effort.  Would a drop down menu be too much to ask?

Events

At first I was gung ho about the events calendar. . . but then I used it.

With no way to sort events, I can’t see what’s coming up in the next few days. There’s no rhyme or reason to the ordering of the listings, so events in the distant future  may show up before those that are just a few days away.  Surely there should be a way to sort by date?

Then I posted a few relevant events to my life.  Upon posting, the site assured me the event would be shared with my network, so I checked in with a connection to confirm.  The event in question isn’t popping up the connection updates, nor is it anywhere to be found at first glance on the events page.  If my immediate connections aren’t notified, I’m doubtful my extended network is flashed the details either.

I also posted an important event that I don’t plan to attend.  Unfortunately, if you’re not attending an event you post, it disappears and you have to return to the search box to find it.  Surely, events should remain somehow tethered to the person that posted it?

Group Management

I happen to manage several groups; relevant groups can be very useful. And the new discussion boards within encourage greater interaction, which is encouraging.

However, the inability to sort members by name and date of application/acceptance is non-existant.  This sorting capability was available with early incarnations of groups, but removed as they upgraded. Despite complaints from group owners, the lack of sorting ability continues, though LinkedIn keeps promising to give it back.

And while one can export the member and pending member lists into excel, one shouldn’t have to.  With respect to the notion of “keep it simple, stupid,” LinkedIn would better serve its community leaders if we could do our organzing on site.

So

All the added applications and functions that can be thought up aren’t much use if they’re not easy to manipulate.   If they’re not workable, LinkedIn starts looking less attractive.  With 30 million users and growing, seems like changes might roll out better if they spend more time in QA.

LinkedIn users aren’t on the site for recreational purposes, like FaceBook serves.  LinkedIn users are professionals trying to make the most of the networkign for professional development.  So functionability matters, and it would be great if LinkedIn realized the same.

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