Social Networks

Rant: Nonsense 'career analytics' via LinkedIn

LinkedIn has long been the benchmark of all the most rubbish aspects of careerism. I’ve ranted before about appalling self-centred-blogging career articles. The internet is stuffed full of bile about awful self-description career-buzzwords. Now the platform has gone and upped its analytics and may have entered a whole new dimension of wrong.

It is with some fascination that I’ve watched the rise of the career self-analytics leak over the site. Profile view stats have long been a feature of the platform. And these make sense. You may well care who has been looking at your page.

It is “how you rank for profile views” that I find concerning. This has been in place for one year. And now this feature is getting seriously pushed.

“You rank in the top 24% for profile views among your connections,” it screams when I log on.

“Up 27% in the last 15 days,” it announces with a big arrow in vibrant green.   

“Easy ways to get more views…” it promises with links to helpful free suggestions and some careful upsells to its paid services.

It even sometimes includes a ranked list of popular contacts on your landing page:

“John Smith is up 87% this month”!

The placement timeframes and wording of this dreadful bilge varies depending on when you nip on. It moves about the site, and features some bits more prominently than others. But one thing is crystal clear: it really wants me to care.

Look LinkedIn, I just have one question for you: why on earth do I need all these profile views?

If I’m looking for a new job some profile views would be nice, but I’d rather have three good ones than 50 rubbish ones. If I’m in sales then lots of profile views might be good because this might translate into hard cash and help me to meet my target. And anyway, hard cash is always useful.

But if I’m just an ordinary person who joined this infernal network because it is more-or-less compulsory in the modern digital workplace, why would I be interested?

Of course, some stats are relevant: it is gratifying to find people engaging in discussions I’ve started. There may be long-term advantages to growing a network. And personally, I’m always looking for relevant professionals to comment on various stories. But random, pointless, page views – and a competitive checklist against my contacts?

On your way LinkedIn – this unadulterated crud.

Well okay, I’m probably not the target audience. I’m none too keen on any aspect of this quantified-self stuff. But when all this starts to include online CV viewing stats, you have to admit, it does all seem more than a spot desperate… 


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