[Updated: I have revived my LinkedIn account to enable me to do research.]
I deleted my LinkedIn network profile on Monday. If you were in my network, it’s nothing personal. The news of the password hacks on LinkedIn’s site the previous week had depressed me. It seemed so painfully stupid an oversight to store so many passwords in such an insecure manner.
Not that it was the password hack that pushed me over the edge. It was the growing realization that being on LinkedIn meant absolutely nothing to me. I had gone through the whole profile building, adding resume information, connecting with a few hundred people, embedding my (other) blog, and so on. My profile was there and frequently visited, by people I might or might not know and for who knows what reasons. At heart, LinkedIn didn’t act as a hub for my network, which is really a series of smaller more distinct networks that exist in other arenas and technologies. The increasing connection requests from people I had never heard of were also indicative that LinkedIn has shifted from its initial focus of making professional connections relevant.
But, like other social profile sites, it seemed to be just another place to duplicate information I keep up to date on this Web site, to visually represent the people with whom I am connected off the site, and to be a dumping ground for social information I generate elsewhere, like on Twitter. In the end, the pointlessness of being on LinkedIn, combined with the stupidity of the company, created a malaise. In that funk, I decided to give LinkedIn a miss and dumped it in the same pile as Facebook, another site I am not “on”.
People who want to find me can Google me and locate me in a number of other ways, especially by referral from someone in my network. No need for LinkedIn to help that happen. The reality is that my real network tends to interact far more frequently off LinkedIn than on and now I can eliminate one more social networking site from the list of potential security weak links in my online chain of accounts.