LinkedIn and usefulness of sharing personal information

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I don’t want to follow other people’s life on the social network sites. And I prefer other ways of syndicate my life changes – possibly over a beer :).

This is also the reason why I’m not fond of the changes LinkedIn has made in the last year (or so). It started to email me on every change people made on their profiles and more annoyingly it started to email people about the changes I makeeven if these are just cosmetic amendments. At the end of 2013 I corrected a few words in the past job positions and a dozen of people congratulated me!?! What for? For not being more careful when I first made my profile? This information is my PERSONAL information and I HAVEN’T consent its advertisement. 

Wouldn’t it be a better business practice to ask users whether they want to syndicate things. Like for example presenting a list of things that could be shared with others and letting users decide. Again – information we put on social networks is our personal information. If we put it there that’s fine. But if the site starts to spam (post, email, etc.) our things around it’s another story. LinkedIn changed from a professional site to a spam generator.

  • I receive an email for every anniversary. While this would be OK for a new job position or even 25th anniversary it is not OK for the 3rd anniversary. For me this is like saying "Look! They managed to stay in that job position for so long. Miracle". Why would I care if someone works for a company for 3 or 7 years? Even so, why not ask users if they want to share after they have made amendments, reach an anniversary, etc. In this way, we as users have control over OUR information.
  • I receive emails when others endorse my expertise. While this is an interesting feature it certainly got out of boundaries. People I don’t work with, who never worked with me, endorse me on my knowledge of LaTeX?!? I’m certain that some people just click on every option there is. So why should I believe the expertise on any other profile on LinkedIn. And you can endorse people on expertise they don’t even know they can do :). Do you see where this is going?
  • I receive emails about other people’s expertise I might endorse. This one is related to the above one. While I can guarantee for people I work(ed) with I have no idea about the expertise of lots of my primary or even nursery classmates. I don’t follow their professional life and have no idea in what they are good at. Except the pranks we did together :). So why don’t ask people just about the expertise of close colleagues?

And I’m not the only one finding such behavious annoying. Based of the number of forum messages about these issues (e.g. here), a lot of people share my grievance. Not directly about sharing personal information about ourself without our consent – but more about usefulness of such practice.

So I decided to switch off all notifications from me to my network and the other way around (except from the individual personal messages and discussions of groups I’m interested in).

Here are the screen shots on how I did it (although I don’t know how to turn off notifying my network when I connect to other people :().

1. Select your profile photo in the upper right corner and click "Privacy and Settings"

2. On the page select "Profile" settings and than "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts"

3. In a popup window uncheck "Let people know …." and save changes.

4. Back to step 2. and select Communications tab. Tweak the notifications as you wish.

If you ever wish to notify your network about any change just check again the "Let people know ….".