LinkedIn Is Actually Fun Now
I’m finding something there I’m missing on other platforms: community.
I joined LinkedIn in March 2004, two years after the company’s launch, out of a sense of duty. I was an independent contractor who wasn’t looking for employment, but joining LinkedIn was what every responsible professional person did. If you wanted to be visible to colleagues and (in my case) clients, you filled out the tedious résumé and education templates, uploaded a flattering head shot, and set about building your network. It was, to be honest, a bit of a chore, like printing business cards or sending out invoices or filing taxes. I never expected it to be fun, and it wasn’t.
I got some work through LinkedIn, directly or indirectly, but mostly my LinkedIn profile said, “Nancy Friedman is a serious person with the right credentials.” I found my fun elsewhere: I geeked out on Twitter; I expressed my creative instincts through my website and my blog, which I launched in 2006. I checked in on LinkedIn every few months, accepted or rejected connection requests, and turned elsewhere for inspiration and community. I stuck with the free plan and didn’t invest in the “premium” membership.
I never expected that formula to change. And yet, nearly 20 years after I joined, I’m discovering something surprising: As other social-media platforms — Facebook, Reddit, Twitter — tottered or became toxic, LinkedIn has emerged as an oasis of interesting, informed, engaging discourse on subjects close to my professional heart (names, branding, language) as well as out-of-left-field topics. It’s not just for work (and money) anymore. It’s actually becoming — I can’t believe I’m using this word — fun.
Here are a few examples of what I’m seeing:
David Aaker, vice chairman of the branding agency Prophet, posted a story about why Twitter’s “rebrand” to X “is full of issues, a major one being the loss of brand value that the Twitter brand built for years.” The post attracted 272 comments, and they’re all worth reading.
Mark Gunnion, a name developer with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working, had another thought about that “rebrand”: “Hey! Maybe it’s pronounced Ten!”