LinkedIn is Dead to Me

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed a massive influx of articles and pointers by new media d-bags telling you how you can increase your friends, followers and fans by five million percent in fourteen minutes. “New media d-bag” is not a term i invented, although i do wield the term “d-bag” like they’re about to take it away from me. The phrase pulls up three hundred thousand hits in Google. This is one of my favourites:

It’s enough to make you wonder what kind of impact people are having on the Internatz if they’re all about marketing, linking to paid content, and building up massive, meaningless lists of people tricked into following social media accounts. Well, enter one clear victim: LinkedIn.


LinkedIn Logo

LinkedIn is a social network targeted at professionals. It’s like Facebook with a tie, or MySpace with socks and a shirt. You’re probably already familiar with it. You create a profile, and instead of bragging about how many cases of beer you consumed on the weekend, you write down your most up-to-date work resume lies and harass former employers into writing something nice about you.

i didn’t really appreciate LinkedIn until i discovered Groups. Groups are like LinkedIn email forums where the members share a common interest. i’ve belonged to a number of groups since late last year:

My LinkedIn Groups

(i’m sensing a theme here … )

Since then, i’ve seen the quality of the content on these groups nosedive to the point where i can’t tell the difference between a LinkedIn group and a Snuggie commercial.

Here’s a sampling of the posts i’d see a year ago:

  • Is the Casual Game Space Recession-Proof?
  • LA Games Conference – looking for panelists for the topic below
  • Other earning models: Is revenue share an interesting model among developers/designers?
  • The Good and Bad of Strong Game Sales in Dreadful Economy
  • Call for Papers: The Philosophy of Computer Games

And here’s what i see piling up in my inbox these days:

  • One dollar one dollar one dollar over here one dollar
  • Watches! i got watches!
  • Sucky sucky! Me so horny! Me love you long time!

Is this what the new media d-bags have wrought? Is this the natural evolution of all these “1001 SEO Tips” and “Gain A Million Followers in a Minute” articles? Nearly every single post on my LinkedIn groups is a plug for a product release or service, often veiled with a headline that makes it sound like legitimate discussion. Things started going downhill on these groups when one poster would throw up headers like “Is the iPhone Gold Rush a Boon or Bane for Game Developers?”, and the ensuing post would be a recruitment scheme to get people to join his scam iPhone developer network. And the same guy posted and re-posted the same thing with different headlines and slightly re-worked wording. When i took him to task on it, he said he couldn’t help himself – he was getting so much business from LinkedIn that decorum be damned.

Now, to be completely honest, i’ve let fly the occasional self-promotion on LinkedIn. But i’m always careful to temper my marketing with useful comments, opinions and assistance. There has to be a little give with your take. My rough formula is 80% helpful, insightful community participation, 10% self-promotion, and 10% links to videos with chimpanzees riding on Segways.

And that’s the way the Internatz should be, dammit.

8 thoughts on “LinkedIn is Dead to Me

  1. wazoo

    Gamedeving as a company / living is a complete catch-22 (as you’re probably well aware)..

    The real “usefull” information that will actually help you grow your business (or even make a teeny bit of extra coin for you), is locked up in the vaults of most of the power brokers and / or Indies who have “made it” but are paranoid of being toppled.

    The rest of us (okay just me, not trying to generalize) are still landing in the forums/groups that ask the same questions..”dude, where’s my engine?” “is language {x} the best choice?”, “Mac or PC?”, etc. Nothing wrong with that of course, but when you’ve overcome those barriers….what next? The development aspect of a game is such a minor point compared to the rest of the things that you need to survive, but it’s really hard finding those small (but critical) pieces of info to help you steer the ship.

    Near as I can surmise, the only way to do it in a reliable, repeatable fashion is to hit every conference, and buy a LOT of beer. This is where the “old school” hustling comes in big time. A lot of face-to-face is needed.

    I’m accomplishing a lot by only maintaining the virtual relationships, but I’m very close to “the wall” where the only way I’m going to grow is to hit the streets and get to the conferences.

    1. Ryan

      wazoo – agreed. Conferences are great, but asspensive. i would’ve like to have hit GDC Austin last week, and am particularly keen on the Unite conference in San Francisco next month, but man … plane fare is spicy, and i can’t ride my bike. And aside from that, i could easily spend every week of my working life at one conference or another. There’s a balance to be struck between learning, talking, and doing. i’ve got learning and talking sewn up. i think i need to do a little more doing in the months leading up to Christmas.

  2. Ryan

    Paolo – i’d like to see a little more policing going on by the group admins to maintain the quality of the group. i remember writing an article or a post for one of my groups, and it got automatically relegated to the “Jobs” section when it wasn’t a job. When i emailed the group admin and asked him to move it back, he said he didn’t know how to do it.

    If you’re going to start a group, treat it like a new puppy. Pledge to feed it, cuddle it, and prune its spam three times a day.

    – Ryan

    1. Ryan

      Thanks, Rasmus. But credit where credit is due – i only linked to the video. The video itself was written, directed and produced by international singing sensation Michael Bolton.

      – Ryan

  3. Alexander Liss

    Hey Ryan

    Yeah, sad but true — LinkedIn is chock full to the brim with crap posts these days. But it’s not all doom and gloom; there is still a lot of good content out there. Like Eric von Coln’s post, “Did Facebook Eat the Casual PC Download Game Model?” in the Casual Games group. I saw your reply there and in short order I discovered the world of New Media D-bags! :)

    1. Ryan

      Alexander – it’s funny … a day or two after i posted this, i saw Eric’s post and thought “well … maybe LinkedIn’s not all that bad.” But every single other post was the same old nonsense, so i don’t think i’m too far off.


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