Hello There LinkedIn, It’s Been a While

Attending an enterprisey conference means exchanging and collecting lots of business cards. I usually carry stickers, but somehow they’re not in my laptop bag anymore.

Anyway, one guy I met decided to connect to me on LinkedIn, a brilliant reminder of that professional network that I’ve neglected over the last half decade. I’m really glad he did because I was then reminded that most of the people giving me business cards, also are on LinkedIn.

So, I’ve been building my professional network like a boss.

Interestingly, like Facebook, LinkedIn’s search leaves much to be desired; it’s great if you’re within two hops of the person, but if not, good luck to you.

Google, however, is really good at searching LinkedIn, which tells you a lot about why Twitter decided not to renew their search agreement. On the one hand, you could argue that allowing Google to index your content brings people to your site, makes you relevant, etc. If you go this route, why even have search at all?

On the other, if Google decides to tweak (ahem, socialize) its algorithm, then your results could suffer. Most services offer search, but why does it have to be so bad? I wonder if LinkedIn has hidden some results based on the degrees of separation. They do try to upsell you when you try to connect to people outside your immediate network.

Anyway, search always needs to be better. My LinkedIn profile needs more attention, etc.





  1. Regarding LinkedIn’s search deficiencies, this answer in LinkedIn Answers (which I found via Google, of course) confirms your suspicions.


    “If you want to find potential prospects who are in a specific demographic segment the premium account lets you specifiy your search so that you can find the right prospects (company size, seniority level etc.).”

    Presumably other types of search offer this granularity when you pay for Premium.

  2. As I suspected, but this is a UX and marketing problem too. When I search and don’t find a result, I assume they’ve failed. They should show the result and tease me, then ask for an upgrade.

  3. I always thought the ‘degrees of separation’ thing on LinkedIn was cool… I wish Facebook had something like that for business networking.

  4. +1 although LinkedIn uses it to upsell you, as John mentions, and therefore it cripples search. Good idea, bad design. On FB, it would just be cool, given how many members they have. I’ve seen reports on the average degree number over the years, and it’s falling, somewhere around 5 now.

  5. Tough to tell, but probably both. I think social networks have terrible search, which is likely related to data structure, and LinkedIn just decided to hide their’s behind a pro feature 🙂

  6. I see the same old people as suggestions as I see in all the other Oracle DBA social nets.  That’s not a bad thing.  I do have to admit the Link’d model does make it easy to just go down the list and friend request everyone, I wind up doing it and hardly know why.

  7. Kinda annoying that they keep adding in sections to your resume for you to complete or feel guilty about: publications for example. However, I do like it, if only because it’s a useful tool to detect upcoming changes in companies by monitoring updates to resumes, or keeping tracking to people. I think it’s still a professional-level social medium and if you maintain your profile and links, useful. No clear alternative either.

  8. Definitely a small space they own. I’ve heard that people snoop there for corporate movements, much like someone I used to know who took screen caps of the org chart to watch people’s promotions, transfers, etc. I just don’t care enough.

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