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LinkedIn Now Targeting Universities, 14-Year-Olds 87

Nerval's Lobster writes "Get 'em young: That could be LinkedIn's new motto, after the professional-networking Website opened itself up to universities and students. LinkedIn's University Pages offer schools a place to post updates about campus news and activities; they can also link to famous alumni, who will doubtlessly love when a couple thousand students try to connect with them all at once. Some 200 universities are setting up LinkedIn Pages, including NYU, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and more. Why this aggressive expansion into a younger demographic? Today's students are tomorrow's cubicle bees and entrepreneurs; by locking them into the network early, LinkedIn can (at least in theory) maintain a user base for many years to come. (It's safe to presume that at least a fraction of these young users will eventually engage LinkedIn's paid services, which makes this initiative a long-term revenue play.) Building a substantial base among students could also help LinkedIn head off future competition, such as Facebook moving more aggressively into the careers space. Or it could just open a whole lot of concerns over privacy and security, similar to what Facebook already faces with its teen audience."
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LinkedIn Now Targeting Universities, 14-Year-Olds

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  • by Above ( 100351 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:09PM (#44624305)

    LinkedIn's value early on was that people added their real life connections. It was predicated on someone being a co-worker, or manager, or supplier. When you searched your network what you found was people who knew the actual person, and could vouch for them and/or provide a personal introduction.

    As LinkedIn grew this rapidly declined. It started by people accepting requests from folks who were at the same company, but with which they did not interact. It grew when recruiters started friending everyone they contacted so their search network could grow. It jumped the shark when they put buttons that made it way too easy for someone to friend you just because you were in the same LinkedIn group with them, along with 10,000 others. And now, the expansion to students.

    I know plenty of people with 1,000+ "friends" on LinkedIn. They don't know even 10% of those people close enough to introduce you, or provide a vouch. As a result, I no longer turn to LinkedIn. Too many of my "can you introduce me to" mails get back a "yeah, I don't really know them" response. There are too many incentives to "grow your network" by adding people you don't know, and not enough incentives to have a high value network, by having it be built on personal relationships.

    So the magic is gone. The upward trend might continue a bit longer like a rocket who's motor has burned out as they add students and such, but the ultimate trajectory here is down unless some major course correction, in the form of dumping people you don't know, occurs.

    • I still have a high value network of around 200 people.

      I DO wish that LinkedIn would let you indicate WHEN you knew your contacts though... when you needed to link the connection to the employment position you held at the time, that was sort-of there, but after the "group links" took hold, this became impossible to mine for your own contacts, let alone others' contacts. My 200 list still has people on it that I haven't talked to in 5-10 years.

    • Hmm. I'd have a different worry -> with LinkedIn, the possibility of dead information, over time, can cause all sorts of problems. It's kind of like the laws on the books...there are some laws out there, still theoretically in effect, that only a handful of people even know about, just because they are so old / buried in some book somewhere...so people end up effectively duplicating the laws every once in a while, just because they are unaware of what is already there; my point being, old / dead informat

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        I try to not add people from my current job. If I change jobs, They might know more about it than I'd want. I've seen people put up new jobs before they start, or start adding people from a different company while still working somewhere. Or, another that worries me is that I have a number of recruiters adding me. They want to keep an eye on potential candidates to fill roles. But my wife is a recruiter, so I do actually know a lot of recruiters. But my current employer might see 100 recruiters (not t
    • by Anonymous Coward

      >I know plenty of people with 1,000+ "friends" on LinkedIn.

      They're doing it wrong, plain and simple.

      • by Above ( 100351 )

        It appears the masses have already down voted this AC, but I think his comment is more insightful than it appears on the surface.

        People go to LinkedIn for the value of vetted, business only relationships, and when they add everyone they are doing it wrong, and devaluing the entire service. What we should be talking about though is why they are doing it wrong, and a lot of it is that LinkedIn has incentives to push for more connections.

    • Being a contractor I use LinkedIn and I find it useful, but your points are well taken. Recruiters can be a real PITA on there. Often they are trying to fill a single job and send requests to everyone that might be even a remote fit for the position. I will not 'friend' them but send an email reply (without disclosing my personal email address) if the job interests me. Otherwise I just ignore the invitation. I won't add anyone I don't know personally. Maybe that makes me a purist but so be it.

      One of the thi

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        I want to be able to "circle" my friends. Have all my school contacts in a school circle, and work in another circle (possibly differentiating from 5+ years old co-workers, recent co-workers, current co-workers, and recruiting contacts), and anyone I add gets access only to their circle.

        Or like how I see your suggestion and having 10 levels of friend. 1=closest contact, 10=friend of a friend or recruiter. the lower numbers can "see" the higher numbers, but the high numbers don't see the lower. As you g
        • "I want to be able to "circle" my friends." - Exactly. Just like how it's done on Google+. Even Facebook has a similar, though not as elegant, concept. This is something that LinkedIn could do quite easily if they wanted to. If it were a feature only available to paying customers I might sign up just for that alone.

    • It seems like every person that breaths the same air as me at a conference, stumbles across my website, applies for a job, etc., tries to add me to their LinkedIn network. I get a zillion emails with "Someone you don't know and don't want to know wants to add you to their LinkedIn something something." And people keep setting up these groups for former members/employees of stuff, which just dilutes the pool of useful contacts further. LinkedIn is useful for keeping track of former colleagues (because we all

    • by t4ng* ( 1092951 )

      LinkedIn's value early on was that people added their real life connections.

      I disagree. I saw no value with LinkedIn. I don't need to duplicate my real life connections at an online service that can then sell that information or harass my connections with solicitations.

      It grew when recruiters started friending everyone they contacted so their search network could grow.

      This was the exact moment I dumped LinkedIn... when recruiters started trying to harvest contact info for my former employers out of me. They already do that in the real world. I don't need to get twice as much of their bullshit.

    • I'm not on LinkedIn, and my spam filter has now learned that everything from them is spam. Looking though my spam folder, I seem to get 2-3 invitations from people whose names I don't even recognise (and some sent to aliases, for example the FreeBSD Core Team, rather than to me personally). I can't imagine anyone getting sensible results from any exploration of the LinkedIn graph.
      • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

        Not only that, I get business association spam too. When I signed up a few years back I was getting only a piece here and there. Now I'm getting 10 to 20 a day and the occasional phone call.

        Worse are the recruiters who see that I used to admin Microsoft servers and spam me with Windows jobs even though it was LAN Manager back in 89.


  • by Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't let you block people, and it lets people know when you've visited their profile. It's fucking creepy as hell, and yet everyone gets on Facebook's case instead.

    • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:58PM (#44624793) Journal

      It doesn't let you block people, and it lets people know when you've visited their profile. It's fucking creepy as hell, and yet everyone gets on Facebook's case instead

      That's appropriate for a professional network, but would be terrible for a personal network. Even compared to putting personal stuff on Facebook, putting personal stuff on Linkedin is unwise.

      My linkedin profile is my resume, word-for-word if differently arranged. I don't care who sees it, because it is explicitly my "public face". And it's quite nice to know month-by-month how many people see my page, as a sort of vague gauge of employment market temperature - if I paid to see who among those who visited were recruiters, it would even be somewhat accurate, but I don't care that much.

      LinkedIn is supposed to be the stuff you make public and want others to see, so no, I don't find that stuff creepy at all. Of course, if younger people start using it differently, then the creepy factor could escalate.

    • By letting you know who's been stalking you, that makes it less creepy and more transparent than Facebook. So 10 recruiters and a handful of people with stealth accounts saw my LinkedIn profile.... I only use it to keep my resumé out there anyways. It's not like they're going to get the latest updates on what I think about [insert politically/socially charged topic here].
    • by alexo ( 9335 )

      It doesn't let you block people, and it lets people know when you've visited their profile.

      Not quite. The privacy/security settings [linkedin.com] are quite comprehensive:

      Privacy Controls:
      - Turn on/off your activity broadcasts
      - Select who can see your activity feed
      - Select what others see when you've viewed their profile
      - Select who can see your connections
      - Change your profile photo & visibility
      - Show/hide "Viewers of this profile also viewed" box

      In particular:

      Select what others see when you've viewed their profile:
      [ ] Your name and headline (Recommended)
      [ ] Anonymous profile characteristics such as indus

  • ...and failed to respond appropriately and publicly to the breach. It's been a few years now. I haven't looked back.
  • Is worthless. The only thing it's good for is for when some dumbass posts "Worked on major projects including Half-Life 3" on their resume and spills the beans.

    It's got all of the meaningless connections and annoying ads (in this case, recruiter spam) of Facebook with none of the hilarious drama or animal pictures.

    • by alexo ( 9335 )

      When I was looking for work, I used it to find people who worked at places I wanted to apply to and ask them questions about the company.
      Some even offered to pass my resume to the hiring manager (bypassing some of the HR screening).

      Eventually, I went to work for a company that an ex-coworker of mine worked for but had that option not been available, I would have been better off for using LI in my job search.

      So no, not worthless. You just have to know how to use it.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:22PM (#44624469) Homepage Journal

    Commercialization and demand for profitability - the 2 fastest ways to fuck up a good idea.

  • by apcullen ( 2504324 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:25PM (#44624481)
    Was that it allowed me to manage my professional contacts and promote my career without the nonsense of facebook. I'm not interested in logging in to linkedin to make friends or play games. It's all about business. If said university students and 14-year-olds happen to be in business and have something to contribute to my career, I'll happily welcome them to the community.

    If not, it's probably time to abandon my linkedin account.
    • This.

      Above all, use LinkedIn for what it's intended for. Purely professional stuff. I don't see any need to put in marital status, hobbies, political views, vacation plans..any of that crap.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If not, it's probably time to abandon my linkedin account.

      that 'time' passed long ago.

      linkedin is over. too much pollution in the database and no way for them, or you, to go back..

      even if you tried to clean up your own relationships, it wont stop the 'add me' spam that got linkedin put in our mailserver's blocklist a long time ago... and if your 'friends' dont clean their own shit up, their list is worthless to them and to you.

      captcha: indexed

  • by Joining Yet Again ( 2992179 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:27PM (#44624497)

    "Networking" is already annoying, being mostly about forming fake social relationships to advance your career. Click-to-Like networking on the Internet is even worse, as there is no real effort nor assessment of reputation.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:37PM (#44624601) Homepage Journal

    Legislation barring companies from recruiting minors.

    i have foreseen it

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They don't give a shit or pretend to have morals anymore. Fuck em I'd rather beg on the street for beer money than use their shit.

  • fuck you. fuck you very much. the last thing i need is more bullshit in my "employment feed". and to compete for jobs with teenagers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "who will doubtlessly love when a couple thousand students try to connect with them all at once"

    I already get more spam from people adding me onto LinkedIn than I ever wanted. I don't have an account there. Why do I need to get message after message after message about it? And now they're relaxing the participation requirements even more? Time to update my spam filter to exclude *anything* from LinkedIn.

  • Spam (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:14PM (#44624985)

    I manage an application/server suite that includes some mail functionality. In the 5 years I've been doing it I've only ever had to enter 1 domain into the blacklist... linkedin.com

    It remains, to this day, the only site in the blacklist.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:20PM (#44625027)

    At one time I had a Linkedin account, then I got rid of it. I still periodically look out there at people I've worked with. Let's see there was the Director in the Architecture Group at one organization that labelled his time as Director of Architecture. Of course there's the CIO that was CIO for three months then was fired but his Linkedin profile says he was CIO for two years at that organization. Some old habits die hard I guess, it's just now billions of people can see it.

    Then there's the incessant asks from people that I've worked with to recommend them on Linkedin, which is now the substitute for what we call references. Sorry Joe, I can't recommend you because while we worked at the same place we never really worked on any projects together and from what I recall you were always late to meetings and people called you stinky behind your back when you weren't looking.

    Sorry Linkedin, you like other Social Media sites are off of my list for good, you don't help me get my gigs and you certainly don't help me keep my confidential information confidential. That's not what they're about, I get it, but no, I'm not turning my CV over to your organization, not today not tomorrow, not ever.

  • I think it's a great way to get kids thinking about their future before said future hits them like a truck. Putting together professional profiles would make a great (and gradable) school project that could be kept up to date as they progress through middle and high school, and who knows, it may even get kids to clean up their online act when they realize what effect their trashy facebook profiles could have on their future. Then again, it would be interesting to read a well put together LinkedIn profile of
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've gotten these mailed around in inter-office mail: "Hey, have a look at this..." with a link to someone's LinkedIn profile. Sometimes, even sent by an external candidate for some job.

    But clicking the link just brings up some "Sign up now!" page. To me, that's a broken link.

  • Closed My Account (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Two weeks ago:
    LinkedIn Shuts Down TopTal Ads That Featured Photos Of Female Engineers [huffingtonpost.com]

    In the last two weeks, have they fixed the cultral problem at Linked-In? I doubt it.

    Originally it was the only social network that I was willing to join.
    Now it's the social network that I am most happy to have left.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      They look like a dating site ad. A hot chick with a "try for 2-weeks risk-free" caption? I'd guess them to be accidentally removed as dating adds. I get so many dating site spam ads, I can see why they'd want to remain a "safe" place.
  • Get 'em young

    Where's Chris Hansen (or John Beard for the AD fans) when you need him?

  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @10:13PM (#44626349)

    Sniff sniff .. I smell a company being run on VC vapors...a concerns for numbers that have to keep going by hook or by crook lest the actual valuation of the business-plan-free enterprise all come tumbling down..

    What does LinkedIn sell and to whom and for how much and how often? How much is any of our data even worth with every cloud-based social-web search-engine new media play all running the same analytics on the same user base? A dollar? A buck fifty? Once? I'm worth a 1000 times that to Starbucks and they have only to plop down another green fish-girl sign on some block that doesn't already have one to start minting fresh people just like me.

    There has to be a limit to the amount of money that can change hands for binders filled with women's likely shopping preferences and how many times you can sell this information to sellers. People aren't just aren't born and don't die that fast. Once you know someone is a liberal Subaru driving lesbian with a soft spot for abused animals, a keen interest in Sara Maclaughlin and a $1500.00 a year wardrobe budget where is there to go for the next 50 years with this person ?

    • where is there to go for the next 50 years with this person ?

      Three words: retail dynamic biometrics. On entering a store, she'll find the salesdroid who approaches her is just a little hotter, a little more convincing, and has just the right sense of timing to make the sale. Oh, and she'll be wearing an earpiece...

      • by dj245 ( 732906 )

        where is there to go for the next 50 years with this person ?

        Three words: retail dynamic biometrics. On entering a store, she'll find the salesdroid who approaches her is just a little hotter, a little more convincing, and has just the right sense of timing to make the sale. Oh, and she'll be wearing an earpiece...

        This is a poor example if you are trying to respond to the GP question of "Once you know someone is a liberal ... lesbian.... where is there to go for the next 50 years with this person." There is no new information needed required for this kind of marketing. You knew the lady was a lesbian, but that is something that probably won't change over time.

        A far better example is immediate targeted marketing based on fresh data. For example, I go to a NAPA auto parts store on a Saturday morning, and run my

        • Interesting. My first thought (aside from interesting...) was that high priced durable goods are not bought in this manner. Maybe marketing types know better, but then there's always states with so called buyer's remorse clauses....

    • Do you live near the city dump? Your sense of smell isn't very good. LinkedIn is a public company, LNKD, and they are profitable...somehow. Last quarter their profit was $314 million, and their last four quarters' profit adds up to over $1 billion. They also sit on about $1 billion in assets with about half as much debt. I don't really know where their money comes from either, but there is a lot of it. I thought the same thing about google when they went public, and I was pretty wrong there.

      • I don't really know where their money comes from either, but there is a lot of it.

        Business units
        LinkedIn derives its revenues from three business divisions:
        Talent Solutions: Recruiters and corporations pay for:

        • Branded corporate page on LinkedIn, complete with careers section.
        • Pay per click-through Job ads that are targeted to LinkedIn users which match the job profile.
        • Access to the database of LinkedIn users and resumes.

        Marketing Solutions:

        • LinkedIn advertisers pay for pay per click-through targeted ads.

        Premium Subscriptions: LinkedIn users pay for:

        • LinkedIn Business for busines
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here's to hexagonal cubicles. And queens.

  • I feel a Gattaca moment coming on..... I'm on Linked, but I shudder when I see all the information available to employers and colleagues..... And I've also started to notice employment oppurtunities being linked to the "who knows you" from it too.... If you don't think the Intelligence community hasn't taken interested in our info there more so than FB, think again.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner