LinkedIn – Is It Becoming A Bear Pit And A Beauty Pageant For The Ugly?

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I’ve been feeling more and more turned off by LinkedIn.

Like most people I spent time carefully building my profile, seeking recommendations from former colleagues and joining groups relevant to marketing, social media and emerging technologies. But it is within these groups that I have observed a disturbing and growing trend.

Whilst my membership of many of these groups in the early days involved joining in with discussions, trying to answer questions and on occasion initiating discussions, most recently I have taken more of a backseat and become more an occasional observer

So why the change? Well, the trend that I have seen develop recently and rapidly in a number of groups is a nasty little habit amongst the members to snipe at each other. All done very politely of course and almost in the tradition of British Parliamentary debate (“I respect the views of the Rt. Hon. Member, but he is an idiot”)

Now lively debate and discussion is very healthy of course. In the days before social media, the letters pages of the marketing press would be filled with the same level of argument that others could contribute to by writing to the editor. But the ease of typing a throw away line into a group discussion means that a shooting from the hip attitude seems to have grown and the result doesn’t reflect well on those with a smoking gun.

What makes this worse is that I’ve seen these sniping, one-upmanship comments appearing in discussions initiated by people asking a very simple question. For example, in one group recently a member simply asked “How can I grow my number of Twitter followers?” After a few initial answers that were all quite fine, a huge argument broke out between two people over something barely related to the question! Of course, the person who quite innocently asked the question in the first place will have been bombarded with LinkedIn emails every time these two people piped up with a snipe and could quite possibly have viewed it as spam!

So, my view of LinkedIn has changed considerably recently. I’m not a fan of this trend of trying to prove that you know more than anyone else. Couple this with the trend to overtly promote your own companies wares (forbidden by most group rules, but roundly ignored) and I’m seeing LinkedIn as cross between a bear pit and a beauty pageant for the ugly!

Or have I got this all wrong?

Seconds Out!

I am having a row with someone on a Linkedin group discussion.

It’s brilliant therapy! They are moaning about the fact that new Twitter will remove a brands wallpaper and replace it with video, imagery and threads of a conversation that you can only currently see by leaving the main Twitter page.

One quote from my opponent is this:

“How would you feel if you are making a living making custom Twitter backgrounds and you just found out that your profession was made obsolete overnight?

Angry? Hell yes!”

There are people out there who make a living doing nothing but this? Holy moley!

Here’s another:

“What if you have been building brand recognition for a client with their custom Twitter background being central to their brand strategy? How do you now tell your client that you have to rethink their entire brand strategy?

Angry? HELL YES!”

So, some poor business has been told that their Twitter wallpaper is central to their brand strategy, that now needs entirely rethinking?


I’d love an introduction….

Perhaps my adversary is realising that they might actually have to write something interesting for their client now and is coming over all peculiar? After all 140 characters is lot these days isn’t it?

Or am I being facetious?

Why do people want to control everything?

Just checked through some of the latest Linkedin discussions and one group member has posted a suggestion to create a Social Media Association. the aims of this group would be to promote best practice, offer advice and be the industry mouth piece!

How pompous!

Surely by its very nature social media doesn’t lend itself to controls of any sort. It’s mayhem and anarchy and that’s absolutely fine.

Maybe it’s just me but peoples instinct to want to ring fence and control things is a tad annoying.
What do you think?