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LinkedIn and Facebook debate...again...

I didn't know who Jeff Pulver was, but he's prominent enough for this blog entry to show up on Techmeme. His entry is about he's dropping LinkedIn for Facebook for professional networking. For some reason, I just couldn't resist. Hence, for the second-time ever, I ended up commenting on the blog of someone I don't personally know; conversational media, here I come.:) My comments below

Interesting. I think its a bad idea; but very interesting.:)

- I think pwb above gets it exactly right. There is value in keeping personal and professional interactions separate. I remember LinkedIn once being described by its found Evan Williams as "Resume 2.0." That's (mostly) exactly what it is. Facebook, for most of its users, is exactly not that. My sense is that most of its users (even young adults not just students) use it to talk about and to their friends, share (occasionally embarrassing) pictures, play games, flirt, waste time etc. That is definitely what Facebook is optimized for and hence there is the nuance that Jeff talks about.

- Everyone who I've heard suggest using Facebook as professional networking tool is, do I put this delicately...."older", and doesn't seem to have this need or appreciate it. I'd be happy to add my mom on LinkedIn (she hasn't asked). I'd not be thrilled adding her on Facebook (she has asked!) All my Facebook "friends" are people I know socially, or through work but really well. LinkedIn is definitely a lot of social friends, but its also a lot of people I know by reputation or just passingly professionally. These people do not need to see whose walls I've been scribling on or what books I'm reading now.

At some point, I'm sure the value of this separation is reduced, but I'm not there yet. My guess is Jeff is.

LinkedIn is actually great the way it is. Its membership is definitely up and I hope it resists the temptation to copy Facebook too closely.

BTW, does anyone else think that someone in 2003, said "Friendster is THE Internet portal of 2003, and you'll find me there."?:)


Le Voyageur said…
Agree with your comments about keeping professional and personal separate - I'm a heavy user of LinkedIn for that purpose. As for Friendster, it had the potential but then failed to improve the user interface, and thus fell off the map.
vin said…
Agree that the two sites should be separate. However, I do think that there are certain things where the sites can take a cue from each other. For example: (1) LinkedIn can help authenticate user-provided information by verifying work/school email address as Facebook does for network memberships. Each line time can thus carry a 'verified' endorsement; (2) Facebook can provide a 'trail' to each user, so people know how they are connected; (3) While LinkedIn does not necessarily need to open up its interface to developers as Facebook has, it can nevertheless peek at successful applications on Facebook for ideas about features on its site... and on and on. But I totally agree that professional & social networks should not be mixed. In the words of George Costanza, "worlds collide" if that happens.

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