Today on Twitter I was complaining about a problem I was having using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network that connects working professionals around the world. About 8 months ago – LinkedIn was probably one of my favorite online Networks. I would constantly praise the fact that they did not allow pictures in their profiles – so that unlike other networks it wasn’t a meat market or potential dating site. Of course now they do allow photos – but I think it’s limited to one.
But as I got more involved with Social Media – I found myself using it less and less. One of the things that I love most about Social Media is the Open Nature of communication – and I’ve felt that things like LinkedIn Mail are barriers to real communication. And in a world that moves as fast as this one – barriers just don’t work anymore.
Additionally – I was having issues with what I thought were expired invitations – although I might have been looking at the InMail system incorrectly. So in this case it was plain and simple user error.
In any event – I sent out a tweet about how frustrated I was with LinkedIn – and how I thought it was a closed system. Imagine my surprise when I immediately (I mean within 5 seconds) heard from one of the folks who works for LinkedIn. Steve Ganz. Now Steve and I have never met – so I imagine he must have been using the Twitter tracking service to track the keyword “LinkedIn”. What’s really awesome – is not only did he look into my issue – and politely let me know that I was actually mistaken. But he also offered to open up the discussion about why I think LinkedIn is a closed system – and what I think they can do to improve. Nice. Here’s the email I received:
I did a little digging and found that there really aren’t any instances that we actually expire a request. Can you tell me what type of request it was that expired for you?
The only thing I can think of is if you were to send a LinkedIn invitation request to someone who wasn’t already a member, we would send out a reminder to them once or twice and then stop the reminders. But it never actually expires.
P.S. Also, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d love to hear more about your feelings that LinkedIn is a closed system. What can we do to open it up more for you?
How’s that for Open Dialogue? I’m going to be formulating a list of things I love/hate about LinkedIn as it currently stands for Steve and also post them here. So expect an update on this soon. In the meantime – Kudos to LinkedIn for an amazingly quick response and terrific user support!
It’s interesting to note that today’s users not only expect companies to listen – they also expect them to respond and take action. My friend John Moore often says: “Be Everywhere Your Customers Expect You To Be”. I think the follow-up to that is – “If you want to really impress your customers – be where they don’t expect you to be too.” Once again – Bravo to LinkedIn for listening, responding, taking action, and being cool enough to hang out on Twitter.