Anonymous Member: LinkedIn's Dirty Little Secret
If you are not on LinkedIn by now - stop reading this and go set up a profile - it's more important than reading this. But for all of us who have and who are still unwilling to pay the exorbitant fee of premium membership have all discovered that lately the social networking giant has begun to heavily monetize its memberships. From a business standpoint - I understand - but from a user perspective this once open platform of business+social networking suddenly seems shuttered.
Here is a screenshot from my recent "unpaid,' who's viewed you page - essentially its become a useless tool to the unpaid user. For the paid user - it must be great. I have a friend who works as a corporate recruiter and she says her firms spends over 14k a year on LinkedIn fees and swears by its ability to let her and their company recruit - in private. LinkedIn is treading in a dangerous territory - not even Facebook will dare show you who looks at your profile or monetize their membership for fear of not only loosing members but destroying the foundation that social networks are built on - openness and sense of community.
LinkedIn's "Anonymous," feature offered to its premium members is the death Nell for an open and equal platform - its has begin to more reflect the true business world of the have and have nots instead of a true social networking site based on an equal basis for membership. This will ultimately result in the polarization of the LinkedIn user base and a dilution of its true users.