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How LinkedIn Lags And How To Fix It

The WSJ reports on the measures 53-million-users-strong LinkedIn is taking to compete with Facebook, which currently boasts seven times as many members as the business-only site.

We’ve already noted their new iPhone app and site redesign, but according to Comscore, in October (the most recent month stats were available), the average visitor spent 13 minutes at LinkedIn during the month compared with 213 minutes at Facebook.

LinkedIn is “not really a community as much as a collection” of names, Brigantine Advisors analyst Colin Gillis told the Wall Street Journal.

To create community and encourage people to stick around, LinkedIn’s CEO is opening up the site to third party apps, and working on ways to integrate LinkedIn profiles with the outside world. For example, the new version of Microsoft Outlook will allow users to quickly see contacts’ LinkedIn profiles.

All well and good, we say, but here’s LinkedIn’s example of a stellar app: “Software maker SAP AG has written an app that allows certified SAP developers to highlight their credentials by adding a “badge” to their LinkedIn profiles.”

….

Oh, excuse me, I just fell asleep. Seriously?

We think the problem is maybe just that the 30 million people on Facebook but not LinkedIn aren’t interested in a social networking tool where you can’t manage a farm, throw sheep at people, or whatever it is you crazy kids do on Facebook these days, and LinkedIn doesn’t need to court them. Right now the only people actively on LinkedIn are either looking for a job or looking to hire someone, and maybe it’s okay to stay that way.

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