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February 29, 2012


Nathan Andelin

I think that performance and usability of Linkedin is better than most sites, and one reason that more people are attracted to it. I've participated in quite a few discussions there that were productive.

I agree that there is too much marketing noise. It would be nice if site moderators did more to filter some of it. But it's also refreshing to find a site that isn't so tightly moderated that it favors just one vendor, for example.

I like Twitter's hash tags for filtering content. It would be nice to see something like that at LinkedIn.

Contrast Linkedin with IBM Systems Magazine blogs. If you post something here, you don't even know if it will show up. A few of my responses here have been rejected, or show up several days later, while no moderator has ever contacted me to explain why.

Notwithstanding my overall favorable impressions of Linkedin, the game for most social networking sites is to foment and expand personal networks so that site owners can better profile users, for their own marketing purposes.

When people feel that their privacy is being infringed, or being subjected to undue solicitation, they tend to come up with ways to protect themselves.

Facebook is over the top in its push for people to expand their networks. Maybe some entrepreneur should come up with a social networking site that handles privacy better, and offers better controls for groups that are sensitive about that.

David Shirey

The problem with the LinkedIn Groups is that no body bothers to read the comments that have already been made. So you end up with 175 comments, only three of which actually say something different.

R. Thompson

The posts that I can't stand are the ones that just state RPG Programmer Needed. No details, no location. If you are going to post a free job advertisement at least put some details. It's free and they aren't charging you per word!

Nathan Andelin

Jon and Susan,

By chance, was your blog on social networking done in coordination with Steve Will's recent question on Linkedin, requesting feedback on the new video "IBM i - Designed for Data"?

I noticed that Steve posted his question in several IBM i related groups on Linkedin, and a fair amount of feedback is coming in.

This is the first time I've seen Steve post anything to Linkedin so I couldn't help but notice the connection with your blog topic.

If you hadn't coordinated in advance, then it's fun to see the parallel, and perhaps a little ironic. I read Steve's blog on IBM Systems Magazine and can't help but notice the small number of responses. But the response on Linkedin to what may have been his first post includes quite a few golden nuggets of insight from quite a few people, if you include all the groups.

I responded with feedback in the IBM i professionals group:

Ed Evers

Jon... I like Linkedin... I have picked up some good info, and also responded to some of the queries... I would not compare linkedin to facebook or even twitter.. Very little "social" info goes on there, and even though the groups in linkedin are mostly redundant, a lot of good questions, comments and general knowledge is passed around - by a lot of people...

As far as the vendor participation in the groups, it is no worse than attending some of the old usergroup meetings where they were occasionaly invited.. You don't have to listen if you don't want to, and it usually quickly comes out that a particular person is an actual vendor... They usually are quite proud of their status as a vendor.. Easy to ignore if you want to, and can't do much more than give you a link to their website..

Hans Boldt

I don't participate much on LinkedIn. However, joining one particular local job-hunters group on LinkedIn gave the the connection I needed to get my current job. So I might have a different opinion of LinkedIn than others.

Cheers! Hans

Dan Devoe

To me, LinkedIn is a place for people in the workplace to network, through connections.

I joined LinkedIn when I got laid off in 2009, to help bolster my chance of finding employment, by contacting people I've worked with many years ago (most of whom were not in IT - but most had IT departments).

I did find a position through LinkedIn, so for me, it served its purpose.

The groups are secondary - if I want "hard core" discussion, I'll go to sites such as,, and

Account Deleted

I've been on LinkedIn for a few years, but I don't really use it much. I have just 91 connections, split between cow-orkers, IBM i people, seasteading people, and a few miscellaneous. I'm a member of three "AS/400" groups and one local general I.T. group but I don't bother to visit the groups. Generally I just log on once a week to skim over the Updates and to look at the new connections of my connections to see if there's anyone that I want to invite to connect.

For IBM i discussions, the lists are the place to be. (Plus I read the and newsgroups.)



I use LinkedIn for work related "social" networking. The groups serve as a good way to share a professional interest. And the ability to see someone's profile gives you more information about others than a forum or discussion group. Having a picture helps me identify people when I see them in person. Even at large conferences, I've been able to recognize and converse with people because I had "seen" them on LinkedIn.

On occasion, people that I'm in a group have send me private messages, either to get help or just to talk more. If I wasn't on LinkedIn and a member of the group, I might not have been able to have those valuable interactions.

I agree that LinkedIn has has gotten more commercial over time, which can be frustrating. I find myself spending too much time sorting through some group digest's to get to really useful info. Group moderation can help prevent spamming, though can be a lot of work for the moderator.

As for the other social networks - Google+ hasn't seemed to get enough people to join yet. Twitter is (purposely) limited to what you can share. Facebook started as personal/friends network and while they have moved into being more commercial, I still think that's different from a professional network which should be LinkedIn's niche.

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