LinkedIn News feed - blessing or curse?

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown LinkedIn provide a news feed on people in your network, highlighting new connections they've made, their status updates and reporting on any profile changes. This can be received via RSS, which is how I receive regular updates.

However, for users of LinkedIn, the decision to make information available to your network is an all or nothing setting as shown below

Publish profile updates and recommendations?

When you update your status, LinkedIn can automatically notify your connections.

Notify your connections of status updates? In many cases, I suspect LinkedIn users don't even realise this setting exists. Yet simply because of who they are connecting, people may be revealing more about themselves than they realise. For example, by virtue of connections made, business dealings may be inadvertantly revealed e.g. group of new connections with a particular company. Likewise, anyone looking for a job is likely to speak to recruitment agents and may well connect to them. However, the by-product of this is that anyone in your network will start to see a pattern emerging and conclude you are looking for a new job. This was highlighted to me recently when I saw that one of my connections, who is the Head of IT at Schroders, appeared to be connecting to his whole department and I cynically thought what I great way it was to see if any of his staff were hooking up with agents.

Of course, it's easy to switch this off, but then you [and your network connections] also lose the benefits that this information byproduct highlights e.g. common connections or announcements you make. In my case, I have contacted connections on many occasions having seen they've moved jobs or linked to someone I too know. Likewise, I have been contacted off the back of recent connections I've made.

As such, perhaps a "Disclose/Not Disclose" setting is needed whenever issuing/accepting an invite which can be defaulted to the universal setting and overridden when desired.
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posted by John Wilson @ 1:47 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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