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Social networking sites?

They’re bollocks as far as I can tell.

Jeff Atwood recently posted about how he was closing his LinkedIn account, and I have followed suit—killing the openBC (soon to be Xing! apparently: very “Web 2.0”) one on the way. These sites provide one tangible benefit: a massive marketing database to the clever people who create them.

I signed up to both sites a long time ago, and thought I’d see how it worked out. I am now following in the footsteps of others far more interesting and marketable than I: these sites are worthless. Don’t believe me? Listen to a couple of those “others”:

All I’ve received from these services are reports detailing how many people have clicked on my profile, connection invitations from people I don’t know, and the odd cold-call from Websphere-oriented recruitment consultants (some of whom put me in mind of Paul Rollo’s amusing encounter with a headhunter after “Microsoft Websphere”). So, stuff it.

Comments

  1. I just never got the social networking thing - it never made sense to me. Do I care that you have 400 contacts? There is no value in it. My experience to date with openBC is "unimpressed".

    Does anyone have any ideas on what they would like to see in an online collaboration tool? What would be the featureset that would make a site like this useful?
    Brendon Upson#
  2. I have used ecademy and have had useful contacts with business development people (got a grant from the government!) also found a good call answering service and some cheap company digs.

    The people who are really active on these services are small service providers: accountants, freelance hr and marketing people, freelance sales people etc. If you are a small company who is going thru change then this is all useful stuff.

    Best of all it provided me with a big old laugh, see:

    http://www.spuggy.co.uk/2005/03/ecademy.htmspug#
  3. OpenBCC and the like are the Wall Mart of social software. If social then JUG meeting. If social software then specialized news group.

    … and 100% female headhunters are heavily into Websphere and they ask for resume, even if I haven't updated my profile for 3 years :-)

    I've re-encountered friends from kid-time and school on openBCC, though. Its quite usefull for that purpose :-)

    My password for openBCC is somewhere in my probably deleted mail.nsf of my ex-employer (left them at the end of June).
    Axel Janssen#
  4. They just don't do it for me either - feel like I am being spammed by them after a while..

    Or maybe we are just too old for this type of thing ;-)Paul Mooney#
  5. Funny enough, it is working for me. But I don't expect more than a really large address book.Volker Weber#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.

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