It’s you, not me – A love letter to LinkedIn

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Dear LinkedIn,

We’ve been together for more than 8 years now and I really love you. Honestly, I always have. However, lately my feelings for you have changed. I mean, it’s not like they did a 180, but I do have a hard time loving you like I did before. And since we’re being honest, it’s definitely you, and most definitely not me…

Remember, how we started hanging out when I was in my second job, doing marketing and comms for Ro Theater in Rotterdam. I remember, because I told you and you never forget anything. You looked a bit different back then. You’ve changed over the years. Well, improved actually. Honestly LinkedIn, I think you look better than you ever did. Sure, you could put in a little extra effort in some areas, but overall I think you look great and that’s definitely something you can be proud of.

But as they say, it’s not all about looks… You’ve changed on the inside LinkedIn and in many cases not for the better. You used to be open to a lot of people, which made you really cool and extra nice to hang out with. Remember how you inspired this one guy to build InMaps? What a great tool that was! Really helpful if one needed to explain your power and potential to others. Once they saw the visualisation of their own networks, they immediately understood and became your biggest fans.

Oh and remember, when people were still able to search through Updates? Signal, I believe you called it. Again, such a cool feature of yours. It was so easy to find people who were talking about topics I was interested in as well. What a great way to expand my network with relevant connections. I really miss that feature of yours LinkedIn…

And just last week you stopped giving me the ability to export my connections. My connections LinkedIn. Mine. Sure, they are members of your platform. However, they are still my connections. Connections I’ve selected carefully and value very much. Whatever happened to your “members first” policy LinkedIn? Or is that just some bullshit you’ve been feeding me to keep me off your back. You really pissed me off with this one LinkedIn, also because the so called alternative of requesting my archive doesn’t contain all my connections and you knew that.

LinkedIn known issue

I’m really glad you reversed your course on this one, but I’m sad you only did it when me and a whole bunch of others were getting angry with you. You know better LinkedIn. Right?

Of course, I understand that even you cannot do everything at the same time. There are bills to be paid and money to be made, right!? But you’ve been doing so well for yourself. I mean, last year you increased your revenue by 45%. Good for you! I really admire your business model. You don’t rely on advertising for 90+ % like Facebook and Twitter. You have talent solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscription models.

Even I am now paying for your services LinkedIn and I’m happy to do so. Not so happy with the fact that I can now only use 4 advanced search filters instead of the 8 I was able to use back in the day, but still happy.

You see, my biggest issue here is not the fact that you’re changing. Evolving even. That’s a good thing, right!? Change is a part of life. My issue is, that you’re not changing for me – one of your 364+ million members, the ones you say always come first. You’re forcing me to change for you. You’re no longer letting me use InMaps, I can no longer search Updates, you (briefly) stopped me from exporting my contacts, and I can no longer use all search filters unless I pay you extra.

That’s just wrong LinkedIn. I mean, how can I keep on trusting you? It seems like you’re changing every day. Not only are you not changing for me, you’re not even telling me about it. You’re just letting me figure it all out on my own or read about in your blog.

I still love you LinkedIn, but I have a hard time trusting you these days. Please let me keep loving you and stop changing in a way that you’re forcing me to change. I’m still one of your 364+ members. You know, the ones that always come first for the simple reason that without members there are no profiles, no company pages, no updates, no groups, no discussions, no posts, no need for talent or marketing solutions, no revenue, and thus no LinkedIn. That would be a terrible shame, so I truly hope you remember that members always come first.

Love,

One of your members

Main image: Jochem Koole, license: CC BY

Published on: 30 July 2015