The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Is LinkedIn worth it?

I've never had much user for LinkedIn. Apparently I'm not alone:

The site’s initial appeal was as a sort of self-updating Rolodex—a way to keep track of ex-coworkers and friends-of-friends you met at networking happy hours. There’s the appearance of openness—you can “connect” with anyone!—but when users try to add a professional contact from whom they’re more than one degree removed, a warning pops up. “Connecting to someone on LinkedIn implies that you know them well,” the site chides, as though you’re a stalker in the making. It asks you to indicate how you know this person. Former coworker? Former classmate? Fine. “LinkedIn lets you invite colleagues, classmates, friends and business partners without entering their email addresses,” the site says. “However, recipients can indicate that they don’t know you. If they do, you’ll be asked to enter an email address with each future invitation.”

This frenetic networking-by-vague-association has bred a mordant skepticism among some users of the site. Scott Monty, head of social media for the Ford Motor Company, includes a disclaimer in the first line of his LinkedIn bio that, in any other context, would be a hilarious redundancy: “Note: I make connections only with people whom I have met.” It’s an Escher staircase masquerading as a career ladder.

I'll keep my LinkedIn profile active, of course, because I have to in my industry. But it's not like I'm hard to find online.

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