LinkedIn is one of the best websites on the planet, it’s the only one focused on business networking and it lets you have a nice resume and for those reasons I think it’s great.

My confusion comes in when I hear about the CEO writing a book about “The Startup of You” and using LinkedIn as an example of the things we should be able to do.  In theory, I love the idea of groups and using LinkedIn for communication and building communities and some of the new direction LinkedIn is going, but it’s unfortunately poorly implemented.

Confusing: Groups
From my experience, I have to login, click groups, find the group, click again, then sift through the spam to find meaningful conversations that seem more aimed at taking the conversation offline then creating a community.  I realize that there are exceptions and some groups are vibrant places where people share, but I think this is the exception.   I much prefer (I’m gagging right now) Facebooks group integration into my feed and it’s 1-click ease.

Confusing: Answers

LinkedIn: Answers is actually one of the shining examples of coolness for the site, but it’s a bit odd that it’s not more prominent.  Why is hidden under a “more” button.  It should be one of the reasons people go to linkedin.

Confusing: Contacts & Companies

I’m probably the oddball here but if I want to search for companies or contacts in LinkedIn, I use the “SEARCH” feature, not the contacts page which takes like 5 minutes to load.

Confusing: Signals 

Actually, Signals is a really neat idea.  If you wanted to see every single update ever by a particular contact, Signals is where it’s at.  It’s hidden, not talked about.

Most Confusing:  Managing Relationships

However, the most confusing thing about LinkedIn is how to manage relationships with it.  I really think LinkedIn hasn’t innovated at all since it’s the only one doing this stuff and it has a nice spot as the “business facebook”  It’d be so much easier if Linkedin fostered relationships and conversations the way up and coming CRMs are doing then creating a weird inbox, segragating individual group conversations and hiding answers under the more tab.

Suggestion to LinkedIn – Revamp the user interface or ramp up the “support and training” on the system.  The “How to use LinkedIn” portion of the site is lacking for sure.

Here’s a question, How many of you knew what Signals was?   What changes would YOU like to see on LinkedIn?

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