LinkedIn — Friend or Foe?

This morning I logged onto my LinkedIn account to see what updates awaited me, and at the urging of the LinkedIn interface, searched my gmail account to see if any new connection possibilites arose. LinkedIn diligently searched my gmail contacts and decided there were about 200 connections as yet unexplored.

200 connections?!

I combed through the list and got it down to 85, and sent out invitations to join my network. The way I see it, having more LinkedIn connections can’t hurt. You never know how you can help someone and vice versa. Admittedly I do feel foolish sending a connection invitation to someone from whom I bought a chair via craigslist. Or Kijiji nowadays. Craigslist has fallen out of favour and Kijiji has gotten more popular. The search options on Kijiji are way better and also there is a thumbnail next to each item. Craigslist has actually now added thumbnails too but no matter, since Kijiji outshines Craigslist in other ways.

On Tuesday this week I popped a scout camp application in the mail on behalf of Boy midget to attend as a Leader in Training this summer. This application included a 500-word essay about himself, plus 2 references from unrelated parties. In my mind right now he is a newborn giraffe wobbling on his legs. He is learning to make his own way in this world. So proud of that kid.


And so back to LinkedIn. I do enjoy seeing what old friends or ex-boyfriends are up to. Did their world fall apart after we broke up? It’s interesting to note the career progressions. I’m not going to turn this into a gender discussion of how having children necessitates slowing a woman’s career at least a little bit. (It does.) I currently have 165 connections and I’m sure 80% of them are acquaintances at best, people with whom I have chatted just once in my life. But still, whenever I am looking at job listings it’s interesting to see what connections of mine work at that company or are connected to the company in some way. LinkedIn reminds me of grade school/high school a bit, in that the home page will tell you how many people have viewed your profile in the last week. I didn’t ask for this info and I’d rather not have it. I do not care and this data is meaningless. And what if you don’t have a career, burgeoning or otherwise? I suppose it’s a good tool for prospective employers to check you out before the interview. And I suppose it’s good for ex-loves who want to stalk you. But I don’t know that having LinkedIn is helping me professionally in any way.

I think a great addition to the LinkedIn tools would be to allow geographical, educational, and professional analysis of one’s connections. Actually one of my acquaintances works in the sales department at LinkedIn, selling HR solutions to various companies. I’m not sure how happy he is there, considering his comments about drinking a lot of red wine during the evenings after work. But hey, I guess this works for him. Now if I could get a developer’s contact info, I could really effect some change there.

I’ve got some problems with the Royal Bank online banking system interface. When completing an electronic transfer, there is a limit to the amount you can transfer using this method. However, the error message doesn’t pop up until you are in the very last step of completing said transfer. Human Factors and Quality Assurance at RBC needs to step it up a notch. Also at their ATMs when depositing funds using a deposit envelope, the writing on the envelope doesn’t match the user interface on the machine. It’s very annoying once you notice the discrepancy.


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