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Page history last edited by Marc Freedman 12 years, 9 months ago

from LinkedInSurprises



Inactive Members



How does it happen?


It's part of life


It may be unintentional. If a member doesn't have a lot of LinkedIn activity, he may not notice that he no longer receives the occasional LinkedIn message.

  • A new ISP
  • A new job
  • A more aggressive spam and bulk mail filter used by your email software, web service, or company
  • Your crazy ex screws with your account or your email


It's temporary


It's rare that people update their profile when they're unavailable.

  • You go on a long vacation or sabbatical.
  • You have a baby or other family situation that demands all of your time.
  • Work demands more of your time and crowds out lower priority activities like LinkedIn.
  • Your ex moves back in with you and say it's me or LinkedIn


Adios, LinkedIn


It may be intentional. It's a lot easier to simply do nothing than to close your account. There are many reasons people quit LinkedIn

  • You were never active in the first place. You joined in response to a personal or group invitation, but did nothing beyond that. Many members never create a full profile, upload contacts, or use LinkedIn to search for and contact people.
  • The honeymoon is over. LinkedIn can be fun to initially use as you grow your network. But at some point the fun dies. Some people can't make the transition from social to business use of LinkedIn.
  • It's too difficult to use. LinkedIn can be a daunting service to master.
  • You don't understand how to use it to help your business.
  • It takes too much time to use or maintain your network.
  • It's not a good fit.
  • The network or other members don't meet expectations.
  • It's not paying off or generating results.
  • The network is weak and a waste of time due to InactiveMembers .
  • Your ex hijacks your account.


How big a problem is it?


An estimated 20% of LinkedIn members are inactive. This number increases over time as accounts age. While LinkedIn trumpets passing 15 million members, regular users are only a few million and active users are just hundreds of thousands.


How LinkedIn deals with this issue


It doesn't. LinkedIn ignores it. In fact LinkedIn banks on it by trumpeting its gross number of members, even though many are inactive.


LinkedIn does not:

  • Close the loop on returned email messages
  • Ensure its members are active
  • Show member activity level or even last login
  • Remove InactiveMembers.


Why should I care?


  • It's a huge drain on your time. You can't just send an Introduction, secure that it will be answered. You now also have to invest a lot of time to manage, withdraw, and resend Introductions that stall.
  • It wastes precious resources. LinkedIn intentionally limits Introductions and InMails. If 25% of them aren't answered, that reduces the number you that are actually working for you.
  • Networks thrive on connectedness. If the network is riddled with non-responding nodes, the value of the network is reduced not proportionally but exponentially.
  • The trend of decreasing returns is dangerous. As more the network degrades, more people become inactive, further hastening the decline.
  • The inactive user problem on LinkedIn is getting worse. LinkedIn is pushing the edge of diminishing returns. At some point the deadwood will become overwhelming and no one will care if LinkedIn has 8 million users or 80 million.
  • It creates a bad member experience. It's one of the reasons that users become disillusioned and become inactive.
  • It hits LinkedIn where it counts - in the wallet. If I'm paying $20/month to get InMails for instant contact and 50% of my InMails aren't answered (which is typical for me), that is atrocious service. I'm wasting my money. Why would I keep paying for it??? I'd much rather pay for a smaller network where I know the response rate is much higher.
  • It's not professional. It wouldn't be a big deal if LinkedIn was a personal network like MySpace. But LinkedIn is a business network. Business people have higher standards, especially if they're paying for it, and are not going to indefinitely support a low quality network.
  • It runs contrary to LinkedIn's strategy of creating a positive user experience. LinkedIn wasn't founded on being the largest business network, but being the best. It was quality not quantity that enabled LinkedIn to stand out and make it the leader it is today. LinkedIn worries about active networkers sending unsolicited emails. But inactive users are a fundamentally larger problem that affects everyone.

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