Dear LinkedIn,

You’re about to welcome your 250 millionth user, so I wanted to take a moment to contemplate the impact you’ve had on my life. I’m pretty sure that everyone reading this is registered with you, so I hope they’ll share their opinion in the comments below. For one, I don’t have business cards any more. After the many, many paper cards disappearing aimlessly in people’s drawers (or worse, bins), I figured it should be possible to live without them. And thanks to you and your magical algorithms, I’ve been connected to more people than ever. So I’m doing pretty well without my old skool cards.

I like that you’ve got InMail, a messaging system that ‘guarantees’ a response. It’s just much more efficient. It beats calling the company switchboard of whoever you’re trying to reach and being forwarded into a never-ending loop of “he’s not in right now” and “he’s in a meeting.” Again and again. InMail does that loop-thing for me, and if it comes back unanswered, I know it’s a dead end. Move on. Brilliant.

What I also like about your service is that you’ve made the world a bit more about me. It let’s me discover fascinating things about and in relation to myself; how many people I’ve met (once), how often I appear in search results, and how many people have viewed my profile. Me, me, me. I’ll admit it; that’s a fantastic place to be.

I’m not sure about the endorsements thing though – it feels a bit like you’ve turned the world into a giant frat-house where everyone pats each other on the back for no apparent reason. It feels awkward, getting endorsements from people who couldn’t possibly know how good or bad I am in a specific discipline. Yes, maybe consider revising that one.

It feels awkward, getting endorsements from people who couldn’t possibly know how good or bad I am in a specific discipline

The one thing that annoys me the most though are the people that I don’t know and that keep stalking me. The most memorable of which is The Business Troll. We all know him. He’s the kind of person who, out of the blue, invites you to join his Fabulous World with the ever so personal “I’d like to add you to my professional network” and then proceeds to spam you if you don’t respond/behave/interact as he likes. Like an aggressively present person at a networking event that we all try to avoid; he makes it less enjoyable for everyone.

The ever so personal “I’d like to add you to my professional network”

Oscar Wilde once said: “It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.” Which brings me back to my now non-existent, but physical business cards. The good thing about them is that they represent so many things about professional networking. First of all; properly introducing yourself! Then, sharing your information after a good and productive meeting, and maybe even only when the other party asks for one. Playing nice. Being polite. Values that remain timeless and classy, no matter how you conduct business.

So here’s a new toy for the LinkedIn playground that I think you should introduce soon – your next milestone celebration perhaps? It’s simple and guaranteed to be your most popular yet. It’s so basic and old-fashioned that it might make you shudder at its non-clickable, non-trackable nature, but it will definitely make you a more social business network: Teach people some manners!