I once told an audience I was speaking to that LinkedIn was ‘networking for people who couldn’t network.’
It didn’t go down very well.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Maybe I’m being a little hard. I know that some folk (because they tell me; incessantly) find LinkedIn a ‘valuable tool for business development’. I get it. I can also see that businesses can use it to hire people.
But it doesn’t have the monopoly on either of those things. Nor is its performance in either of those areas anything approaching optimal.
Years ago, a headhunter once said to me, over coffee:
‘Well, we couldn’t find out much about you, Nick, as you’re not on LinkedIn’.
i) I HAVE MY OWN WEBSITE. If you Google my name, that’s what comes up.
ii) I write a weekly column, in which I don’t exactly hold back.
iii) We’re having coffee. Face to face. You can ask me about myself now. Like a real human. Come to think of it, I thought that’s why we were meeting…
George Orwell said that ‘the logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle’.
He may or may not have been right. (OverLord Schmidt and his Flying Google Monkeys will no doubt be able to tell us in a couple of hundred years or so.)
But LinkedIn has certainly ‘reduced’ human business relationships to something equally unattractive.
It’s tawdry (like ‘a bunch of sharp-elbowed junior executives in an airport hotel’) and, fundamentally, it’s lazy. It is, of course, prima facie easier to ‘network’ sitting behind a desk on your own than it is to get out there and develop genuine relationships with live homo sapiens.
But it is nowhere near as powerful, enriching or downright enjoyable as getting to know them properly.
And we have the perfect tool for achieving that.
Because – I can now reveal, exclusively – a bunch of mates and I have been working on a revolutionary new social platform. This platform enables users, either one-to-one or in larger groups, to freely exchange information about each other (and third parties) in a truly authentic, non-threatening environment, without having to compromise on the need to regulate blood sugars.
It’s called LüNCH. And we think it’s gonna be huge…
– this piece first published by The Marketing Society