I used to think you sucked, LinkedIn. And you really did.
Years ago, when I was a freelance video cameraman, you were worse than completely useless to me. You were an annoyance.
Let me explain.
There is one feature in particular – a central feature – that has aggrieved me since I joined your platform. Since this is an open letter, I want to warn everyone that I am going to begin to type in all caps:
WHY IN THE INFERNAL HECK DO YOU STILL ASK YOUR USERS TO SPAM A BUNCH OF BARELY KNOWN ACQUAINTANCES TO JOIN A STILL DECIDEDLY NON-COOL PLATFORM?
I still don’t understand why this is still an issue. I really don’t.
But I needed to give voice to that rage before I talk about the things that I really do like about LinkedIn.
One of the biggest reasons for my change in attitude towards LinkedIn is that people actually read the things that I publish here. I am no thought leader, nor do I have any sort of following, but I do know that if I publish anything on LinkedIn, I can count on getting at least a 5-10 views, which is meaningful to me. Comparably, on Medium or Reddit(or even my own blog) that number is usually flirting with a big fat zero.
I wrote an article talking about the state of financing in the VR industry at a particular time in 2017 and that garnered almost 2000 views and had 20 reshares. Not bad for a relative nobody.
I was surprised at the results. The article wasn’t particularly laborious to write. It was simply just a rehashing of a talk I attended in which industry leaders talked about who is paying to finance VR projects. It hit a sweet spot, I guess.
This seems to be a relatively new feature, but one that I am finding to be useful. I even look forward to seeing the suggestions for whom to contact updated every Monday and Thursday.
So far, I’ve spoken on the phone and connected with two different consultants. The first is about my age who is also an avid reader, as well as a fellow acolyte of Alan Weiss’ books. He turned me on to Jay Abraham's Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got, Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid, and Ramit Sethi's posts on freelancing, consulting and husting on his blog, I Will Teach You to be Rich. He also gave me some crucial advice: as a consultant, it’s all about referrals.
The second person I spoke to is also a consultant, and has worked for himself in a variety of capacities since college. I'm happy to report that we have arranged a mentorship. I'm hoping that this grows into more as we build our relationship.
LinkedIn, I never thought I’d say this but you’re getting so many things right. Just, please, for everyone’s sake, fix the auto-spamming invite feature.