LinkedIn Can Be Fun Sometimes

Posted on February 20, 2018 by Richard Goulter

LinkedIn always strikes me as one of those networks which people will just kind of ‘have’ for ‘job stuff’. The folk you’ve met when you’re at work or when they’re at work or when you meet someone and they mention they have a job or they mention they want a job.
“Professional Network”.

From what I can tell glancing at my LinkedIn newsfeed (timeline?), it refreshingly doesn’t have so many “so brave” opinions. – You don’t see “share this post if you love Jesus” (or whatever other tribal equivalent) on LinkedIn.
“Professional Network”. Or maybe people just aren’t “themselves” on LinkedIn.

So, I think ideally it’s “Twitter minus garbage fire”.
– I kinda wonder why e.g. GitHub doesn’t have more about this.. a place to share thoughts like “so I last looked at CSS 20 years ago; what’s new?”. GitHub does allow adding ‘friends’. But one way of describing GitHub’s newsfeed is that it’s filled with “actual work” rather than your friend’s baby pictures. (Commits are “actual work” right?).

LinkedIn is also mostly without the stuffy feeling of superiority of how great a social media site it is. (Compared to Quora of yester-year or people who use Google Plus lawl).
Mostly, anyway. I did meet someone years ago who said “if they don’t exist on LinkedIn, then they don’t exist”. Wouldn’t’ve been surprised to find out his degree was the one which rhymes with NBA.

My LinkedIn profile bio begins with “Don’t hate the players, hate the game; but seems like LinkedIn promotes treating profiles as ‘livestock commodities’” and a link to this excellent discussion about tech interviews:

I like “don’t hate the players, hate the game”.
Because it seems the players often don’t like each other. e.g. this tweet makes fun of recruiters who show up to programmer-interest groups. It resonated with some. (Not as much as the tweet just before it; although that could be due to the culture-war progressive-leaning mention of ‘white males’).
– It’s a bit mean-spirited. But I’d call it “the game” in that it’s different groups with different amounts of power competing.

But another difference which comes up whether a use is a “LinkedIn Open Networker”. I guess most of the joke of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is about people who say this IRL (why?!). But I don’t wonder if it works for LIONs, too.
– For LIONs, it seems the main purpose of LinkedIn is expanding their ‘professional network’. For myself, I don’t understand what makes “increase the size of an arbitrary sub-graph of LinkedIn’s graph” so special. (I’d call “only add people you’ve met” non-arbitrary).
Though I can accept ‘each to their own’. And I can click “I don’t know this person” any time a LION connects with me on LinkedIn with no message. :-)

I had a bit of fun recently.
I recruiter messaged with stock-standard “hi I’d like to connect”. (Albeit, this message isn’t added by default to a connection request. So I guess it’s personal enough that they thought to add it).
I decided to ask what they thought about the difference between ‘connecting’ on LinkedIn (which is cheap) vs ‘networking’ in person (which is more useful for finding a job).
Recruiter did reply to that.
But also surprisingly showed some personality/connection by asking a question back. “Why have a LinkedIn profile? Your profile writeup seems pretty against it”.
I guess if the question were “what do I wanna get out of LinkedIn?” I don’t think I could point to anything. (And “what I use LinkedIn for?” would be the same as why I have an Instagram account, I guess).
I thought it was fun to think about it. (Glorified Spreadsheet about what jobs my friends have).
But also fun to discuss that cheap interactions make for a lot of noise.

I’ve heard “betting is taxation against bullshit”.
I kinda wonder (with pixie dust) what the effect would be if everyone with a year’s experience had to pay 10% of the salary they hoped to get when applying for a job. (In my pixie dust: companies which do a poor job of providing expectations would then suffer from people not applying for the job)
And (maybe it’s just super anti-LION), but some sort of scaled fee for messaging someone. Unpopular profile? Cheap to message! Popular profile which receives many messages? Expensive to message. (Oh, uh, in pixie-dust land: the profile receives some of the money, too, for reading the messages).
– I can’t say I’m particularly serious about this. (It’d apply just as well to dating for people who have money, right?). But since ‘apply for job’ (or ‘message profile’) has no cost, and a positive potential reward, there’s a better expected result from just applying/messaging without sincerity.

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