Online forums, especially Hacker News and Reddit, are very hostile to LinkedIn. Everyone makes fun of the self-promotion and silliness that goes there. There are complaints the site is unusable, which I didn't agree with until now.
I've had an account there for a few years. I used one simple rule to make the site usable:
Only add people I've met in real life to my friend list, and then only colleagues.
The reason I have an account at all is I like to keep up with my colleagues from old companies. It's always nice to see what people have been up to. Second, while I haven't found a job thru it, many recruiters have reached out so its worth keeping a presence there.
So far, LinkedIn has been sort of usable. I would log in 2-3 times a week, to see what was happening.
But recently, I realised LN had turned into a big steaming pile of dog poo
Travels Thru Poop Land
The 1st I realised something was wrong was when I saw a post from an old colleague, saying they had found a job. I typed in a quick congrats and sent it.
Then I saw the date on the message: It was 3 months old. They had found a job 3 months ago, it had turned up on my feed just then.
I thought it was a coincidence but then it happened again. This time, the 2-month-old post was shown to me 5 times. I was like, yeah, I get it. Is nothing else happening to the people in my feed? I know there is, because if I go on their profiles I can see them posting. It's just not turning up on my home page.
But wait! It gets worse...
Listen, I'm a capitalist. I get it, companies need to make money. I'm okay with some ads.
What I'm not okay with is 8-10 ads for 1 post from my feed. I had so many ads (and I counted– 10:1 was a standard ratio of ads:post), that I couldn't see the posts from the people I had connected to.
And it wasn't normal ads– Ads on LinkedIn show up as "Promoted". These are okay– I've never clicked on one, but at least some are useful.
But LinkedIn has started showing these "Suggested" posts by random weirdos on the internet. Most of them are garbage– they are from the sort of SEO spammy sites we see on Google and the reason I avoid using Google.
One post was like: Top 7 API methods in Java
and I was like, I've never even used Java. If Java was crossing the road and met my gaze, I would be like, Who are you, Bro?
The posts are the classic spammy ones– you can tell by the titles and the slick images:
The 7 best ways to test your web app (Number 3 will shock you!)
Why is LinkedIn showing me this garbage? Are they getting money from spammy sites to promote their crappy posts? If so, why don't these show up as "Promoted" instead of "Suggested"?
But wait! It gets even worse!
I've been looking for a job, so I've set my status to "Open to Work".
Last week, LinkedIn decided I was a hiring manager, and asked if I wanted to become a recruiter on their site. And I was like, how can I be hiring people when I'm looking for a job myself. It's so stupid I had to take a screenshot and make a post on LinkedIn:
I've stopped getting notifications when people reply to my posts or to a comment I posted. Someone posted a thoughtful comment and question to one of my posts, but I never got a notification and so never noticed it. Until this week, when I manually went back and looked at my posts. The person probably thought I was rude or didn't care.
It doesn't help that to see my own posts I have to click 5-6 times. 🙀
I didn't change any settings, so it must have been something LinkedIn did.
So not only can I not see any posts from my network, but if someone is trying to talk to me, they can't! Unless they pay $$ to Linkedin and join the recruiter plan.
People have been complaining about LN for years, but at least it was doing the basic jobs I expected from it:
- Keep me connected to people I've worked with
- Connect me with recruiters
As of now, (1) doesn't work at all, as I can't see any posts from my network because of all the spam. (2) sort of works, but there haven't been any jobs recently. Like 0.00 in the last 2 months.
The recruiter part of LinkedIn, as I said, still sort of works; but, every job site has a "Share my CV with recruiters" option– why do I need to waste time on LinkedIn?
There's even a word for this:
Enshittification, created by Cory Doctrow. From Wikipedia:
According to Doctorow, new platforms offer useful products and services at a loss, as a way to gain new users. Once users are locked in, the platform then offers access to the userbase to suppliers at a loss, and once suppliers are locked-in, the platform shifts surpluses to shareholders. Once the platform is fundamentally focused on the shareholders, and the users and vendors are locked in, the platform no longer has any incentive to maintain quality.