Linkedin, the one networking site I constantly use but I was thinking about this yesterday with some colleagues, what is linkedin good for?  Well first of all the positives, Linkedin has more professionals than anywhere else including their job titles, skills and previous roles and companies.  As you can imagine for a headhunter or a business developer this is brilliant.  Frankly for anyone who wants to expand their network, hire someone or simply converse with like-minded professionals about the important issues within your own industry I can think of nowhere better.  It’s revolutionised certain areas of business and is a boon to people who’s job it is to network around the world…

As I’m sure most people can sense though, there’s a but coming.  The problem I’m having and I assume others will start to have is the restrictive nature of their networking settings.  As linkedin is primarily a networking site I don’t understand why there is a setting that blocks you sending invites when too many people indicate they don’t know you.  Surely the whole point of a networking site is meeting people you don’t know?  If you only speak to those you already know, it’s not really networking.  I find this especially frustrating if you’re paying for the privilege of using their service.  It’s now at the point where a colleague of mine was told he could be banned for 30 days if it happens to him again, even though he too is a premium account holder.  If this isn’t an example of a company cutting off its nose to spite it’s face I’m not sure what is.  I realise they want people to more inmails but the way to go about it isn’t by limiting what should be standard services to everyone else, if they continue to go down this route they’ll simply open the door to competitors and lose the thing that was unique to themselves, open networking.  

As a disclaimer I ought to add, I have no problem with people rejecting invitations, if you don’t wish to speak to someone that is obviously fine.  It’s simply linkedins attitude to this which is concerning for me.