I have been a member of this platform for more than 19 years. I wasn’t there when Reid Hoffman hit the GO LIVE button in 2003, but I was scrambling in not too long afterward.
The platform’s great hope to facilitate networking and a sense of community was lost with explosive growth, the sale to Microsoft for $26.2 billion, and an influx of sales pitch artists, hucksters, recruiters, and a recent invasion of Asian beauty BOTS who try to drag you off the platform for “more private conversation on Telegram or WhatsApp. Can you spell B-I-T-C-O-I-N hustle?
The site’s networking shortcomings aside, you must give the profitable monster its due: it is a vital go-to site for recruiters. Its investment in recruiting technology, including sophisticated AI automation, makes it a place where you must be seen with a killer profile and frequent posts to entice the applicant sourcing scanners. But for networking, a critical part of the career management skill set, LinkedIn is just a massively big, epically profitable, research tool.
In the end, as it turns out, there is no substitution for the old-fashioned fundamentals of human interaction — what football coaches call blocking and tackling.