Opting Out of Linked In

From the Wikipedia entry on Linked In:

This blurb neatly summarizes everything that's wrong with the Linked In service.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/10/opting-out-of-linked-in.html

I find it useful for keeping in contact with former co-workers who I’d otherwise lose track of. I might not have enough of a connection with them to keep track of their email address changes over the years, but if I’m looking for work I’d want to give them a shout to see if they know of openings.

But other than that, put it on the highest privacy settings and forget about it.

a href="http://engtech.wordpress.com/2006/09/24/internet-address-book-web-anonymity-down-the-drain/"There’s this service called Internet Address Book/a that lets people cross-search Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc. I found it a bit disconcerning how easy it is to find out someone’s entire life with nothing but their real name.

Couldn’t agree with you more - I’ve not seen any benefit so far [over two years]: just lazy at closing my account … off to do it now.


I never joined and none of my friends who had joined were able to give me a compelling reason to join.
In fact, they were complaining about still being in touch with people I’d much rather avoid!

I have seen benefits so I’m keeping mine. I’ve been offered jobs. I’ve re-connected with old colleagues from my industry. I’ve also helped to find jobs for colleagues. I’m constantly in touch with where people are in my industry. If I wanted to keep this up by myself it would require writing or calling upwards of 60 people on a regular basis. I just don’t have the time for that.

When I first joined I was worried about getting spammed by headhunters. But so far this hasn’t happened. And if it does I can just ignore them, like I ignore other spam.

This has cost me nothing. It’s difficult for me to see how LinkedIn is profiting from me. If it is, I think I’m getting the better of the deal. I also use GMail. Can I close my account there? I don’t know, it’s never crossed my mind to look.

I’ve seen huge benefits. Myself or colleagues have landed more than 2M in contracts via LinkedIn. I’ve hired and been hired via LinkedIn. I got a book deal via LinkedIn.

If you don’t use the service, of course it’s useful. But when I need someone for a gig, if an individual doesn’t spring immediately to mind I turn to LinkedIn, ping someone, done.

It’s not perfect, but it’s the only social networking site I use for a very good reason.

I agree with you on the principle that it is useless to do… useless things!

There are case LinkedIn is pretty useful though: I have friends and contacts all over the world and I find it useful as a “live” registry of contacts. It is a good way to follow their professional paths and to, sometimes, reconnect with old buddies.

A feature that could help LinkedIn being more useful would be an export of the profile in some sort of standardized ResumeML: in that sense, LinkedIn could be some sort of a resume federator for any sites requiring professional data (like job boards).

hacktick, did you really “lol” to the headhunter?
yuo b3at teh intarwubs!

I came to the same conclusions not to long ago:


there are indeed some useful cases for linkedin.
i have spoken with my chef about such services, and he has told me, that everytime someone applies for a job in his company, he checks the openbc account (german equivalent for linkedin) and contacts the people on his contact list to find out whether this person is qualified or not.

the negative sides are those headhunter spam calls every week -.-

he: "do you like your current job ?"
me: "yeah"
he: "can’t you talk at the moment or is this the truth ?"
me: "lol … this is the truth"
he: "ok … call me back if you wish to apply for another job"
me: hangs up

kind of annoying :wink:

Well I joined and as Darren pointed out, could never find a real compelling reason why I did, and truthfully I wasn’t the only one. In the end I just linkedout.

It’s helped me; after getting a lot of resumes stopped at the HR desk, I routed one via LinkedIn to the hiring manager. He’s now my boss. Not to say that LinkedIn doesn’t benefit from my participation, not to say that’s why I got the job - but I’m staying with it.

You may be discounting more-or-less hidden benefits. If someone google’s my name to get an idea of my past work, I would hope that they find my LinkedIn profile and read the reccomendations from former co-workers. I think of it as more of an online resume than a way to contact people.

I hate LinkedIn because of the bloat it creates in Outlook. Why does it have to encroach on my Enterprise applications too?!?

Now I know why my invitation was never accepted.


That’s ok, Jeff. One day I’ll meet you in person. Then you’ll realize the error you’ve made.

No, I can’t point to any practical benefit from LinkedIn

Then why use it? I dislike acting as an unpaid data entry worker for LinkedIn, especially since I get nothing out of it. And the fact that they intentionally make it difficult to remove yourself, or your “connections”, is slimy.

That said, it is helpful to read actual examples of how other people found LinkedIn useful (from Paul, Jeremy, David, and others).

I’ve been hoping that the service would extend to something like Plaxo… but it simply just grows and grows and grows.

Do you like Plaxo? At least with Plaxo, I can synchronize and dedup my address books online, on my PDA, and in Outlook.

Agree w/Jeremy. LinkedIn is the only social networking service I’ve found at all useful: I’ve used it to track the status of connections I don’t see often, learn more about people I’m introduced to, find connections while searching for work, been introduced to rational (if not perfect) job opportunities, and even found an interesting job description. I find their value-added services useless, but click an ad every once in a while to be nice (too bad they’re all basically for the same firm).

You can’t easily remove yourself from LInkedIn, but you can change all your information, including your name. My contacts woke up one day and found they had a new, bizarre contact who they never heard of. I had a lot of fun coming up with the fake information.

Ive got nothing out of it other than seeing who else is doing what i do.