I’ve been treating linkedin requests as spam in my email inbox. I really don’t need any more email. But I’ve gradually become aware that some people I respect seem to be using this. The one thing I’ve heard is that it is used more by business people than academics. What do you know about this? Is it worth doing? What does it mean if someone I don’t know asks to “connect” with me on linkedin? What does it mean if someone I do know wants to connect? Is this something useful or just another annoyance?

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

4 thoughts on “linkedin?”

  1. It’s all of the above. It’s the de facto social network for business and has a bunch of extra features targeted at business networking. When doing consulting work for private sector people, I often get a LinkedIn request within a day or so of our first correspondence. You can link resumes, job listings, etc. and they’re big advocates “data science” — i.e., using their data to identify trends in hiring. It’s also annoying and spammy if you’re already in communication with most people through other channels and are tenured, especially when students use the “invite all of my address book” option.


    1. One other point — unless you specify your privacy settings otherwise, users know who has viewed their profile.


  2. It might also be useful if you advise students who are headed into jobs outside of academia. In theory, at least, you can use LinkedIn to keep track of former students, making it easier to be helpful to newly graduating students who might want to enter the same industry.

    Note that when someone requests a link, he or she can indicate one of several different types of ties: colleagues, friends, classmates, untagged, etc. Unfortunately, “teacher/student” isn’t one of the options. You may not want to accept students’ requests for a “colleague” tie (unless they really are), because it’s potentially misleading to future employers.


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