LinkedIn’s Pace is Just Fine

In her piece on LinkedIn in PEWire, Connie Loizos writes about Jeff Weiner’s talk at Web 2.0 Summit this week and exhorts him to pick up the pace at LinkedIn — using Reid Hoffman’s reluctance to introduce photos to LinkedIn as an example of an essential conservatism in the company. I have to completely disagree with her analysis, as I’ve been watching LinkedIn since its inception, and have been impressed with both their willingness to change, as well as their actual implementation of new UX, features and especially experimental features. Their rapid implementation of Groups, Answers, their search refinements, integration with other social networks, etc etc has always been rapidly executed. Their Chief Scientist, DJ Patil and his team are especially agile innovators, with an incredible fund of data to work with and many experimental features cooking in their labs.

I have to especially agree with Jeff’s assertion that the lack of Kegstands and hot tub photos on LinkedIn is one of LinkedIn’s key distinguishing features. It should be preserved and defended at all costs. In building a social network, the standards and mores of a community are its lifeblood; one does not lightly ‘experiment’ with these and LinkedIn is exactly right to defend them. I think Loizos’ article mistakenly conflates the company’s defense of LinkedIn’s culture with conservatism. It’s just not so.

I’d also take issue with the assertion that they haven’t made any “high profile” personnel changes. Weiner coming in as CEO is as high profile as you could hope for, and I believe that hiring name brand talent isn’t as successful of a strategy as hiring great engineers and developers, which I have seen them doing again and again. They should know, they’re a company that specializes in employment and hiring.🙂

7 thoughts on “LinkedIn’s Pace is Just Fine

  1. I agree with your POV about LinkedIn as well. I think they have done an excellent job of selecting which trending “community” features should be incorporated into LinkedIn to improve the experience (i.e. newsfeed, groups, follow companies, etc) …and which ones should be passed on (hot tub pics & casual games) because they are not right for LinkedIn’s brand.

    They know who they are at the core, and it is admirable that they stay true to that.

    I enjoy your blog btw. Thanks for writing great stuff.

  2. “lack of kegstands and hot tub photos” – lmao – I recently used linkedin to ask a very specific question about intellectual property and received 20+ well-thought out answers from my network in under an hour… useful stuff that helped me set up a proposal for a project. I think people take linkedin seriously precisely because of what is NOT there – introduce party shots with tongues out and gang-signs and site credibility goes out the window.

  3. Very true! LinkedIn’s nonconformity is one of their defining characteristics and at least part of the reason they are the clear leader in their space. Innovation and following industry trends are not the same thing – LinkedIn has proven to be innovative without falling into the copycat trap that leaves so many companies playing catch-up.

  4. I agree with you 100%.
    Well there’s many dangers in gratuitous modernism. For example when the modern hates the cautious and sage because modernists perceive the new is always better than the old, no matter how good the old was. (regardless of how conservative or liberal the old was)
    It’s possible that it’s as hard for the inexperienced to tell good conservatism from bad conservatism, as it is for them to tell good liberalism from bad liberalism.
    You generally need a good mix of the good ones, and less of the bad ones.

    Thanks for your blog, I’ll be following it with great attention.


  5. The great thing about Linkedin is that I can register and use the site without needing a facebook or twitter account. Unlike Hunch.

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