Why LinkedIn is Doomed

LinkedIn is doomed due to substitutes which will grow stronger over time. LinkedIn is also doomed because of the level of spam and self-promoters in groups. LinkedIn is doomed because of poor service and slow development and too much focus on growing revenue rather than building a service valuable to others. Finally, the the disconnection of RSS feeds is proof positive that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of publishing for a social network.

LinkedIn fundamentally makes money because of information that it provides, specifically information that people have to pay to access. This is most effective for professional headhunters and human resource managers. People doing business development or lead generation may also find this useful, but there is a point when that sort of contact becomes spam.

LinkedIn is good if you don't know who the people are whom you want to contact, specifically you don't know names to fit job titles. However, once a name is known, then the broader internet, and specifically the most open social network, namely Twitter, becomes much more valuable.

If this were not enough, a recent tweet by the incessant self-promoter Dan Schwabel is the final nail in the coffin. Not only is this a link to a rather pedestrian piece of content (create a profile on LinkedIn, spell check your profile, get noticed). But the article which is authored by Dan Schwabel, is not even authored by Dan Schwabel! Yes, that is right:

This article was originally written by Jeff Shuey of PersonalBrandingBlog.com, a site created by Elite Daily contributor Dan Schwabel.

And so, there is no longer evidence that Dan Schwabel is human, rather he has been turned into a LinkedIn bot (albeit three websites removed, and under another name). If this is the kind of linkbait that he thinks is important for low quality clickstream traffic, then that is what he will get. Sell another book? Maybe. Opinion leadership? Not in the slightest. If promote yourself means litter the web with low quality information, then promoting oneself is nothing more than webspam.

In sum:

  • Therefore LinkedIn is for self-promotion (and circularly, self promoters who self promote by hawking self promotion).
  • But LinkedIn is the gatekeeper of this self-promotion (namely it limits reach within the network). It is a kind of anti-Facebook (in a bad way).