Curtailment Of @LinkedIn Downloadable Contacts Breaks Sacred Rules Of Digital Business

LinkedIn Fail


Figure 1. The Obscure Accessing Your Account Data Page

The Bottom Line:  Curtailment Of @LinkedIn Downloadable Contacts Breaks Sacred Rules Of Digital Business

Figure 2. @jeffweiner @reidhoffman founders of LinkedIn.

@rwang0 @linkedin @reidhoffman @jeffweiner

Source: Fortune

The actions taken by LinkedIn cut through the heart of customer’s expectations of a reputable brand and one that values the P2P networks created by the collective good of the network.  LinkedIn has damaged its social contract with its users by:

  • Breaking the sacred tenet of trust and transparency.  By not announcing a significant change of features that impact one’s personal data, customers feel that LinkedIn tried to brush this under the table.  The lack of transparency damages the trusted relationship users have had with their social network.
  • Trampling over personal data rights.  The move to limit access to one’s own data raises the question on data rights and ownership.  Customers should have the right to unfettered access their own content.  Removing the export contacts capability and requiring a hold period is just plain unacceptable.
  • Forgetting that the customer’s network is the product.  LinkedIn’s management team apparently forgot that the customer is the raw input for the product.   The network would not exist without the collective P2P network.

The right action for LinkedIn is to publicly apologize and restore the ability to immediately download contacts for all users.  Stories from partners about cutting off API access and this personal data hostage issue continue to reinforce an image that the post-IPO LinkedIn is not a customer friendly nor partner friendly organization.  Time is of the essence as customers continue to mistrust LinkedIn’s intentions.

Your POV.

How do you feel about the way LinkedIn handled the situation to date?  Do you feel that LinkedIn broke your trust? Do you believe that this is their data or is this your data?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

Please let us know if you need help with your Digital Business transformation efforts. Here’s how we can assist:

  • Developing your digital business strategy
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing