Congratulations LinkedIn! You are a force to be reckoned with and the stock market's darling, at least until big brothers Facebook and Twitter make their moves. What are you going to do with all of that investor capital? We hope that you will roll a fair bit of it back into the product, and here are a few good places to start.
Company Pages - well, these are better than they used to be with Products, Services and Careers tabs, but there are still some ugly problems. LinkedIn is so user-centric that company administrators can't easily manage their listed employees. In other words, when an employee moves on (willingly or not) to another company, we ought to be able to remove them from our company page. No, they have to do that themselves by updating their profiles. Silly. Worse yet, if an old employee originally set up the company page, it's nearly impossible to wrest control over the page away from that employee. Yes, we have tried e-mailing Support - that's another problem (see below).
Job Postings - We get that you need to monetize (and have done so to the tune of $35 million last year), but there ought to be some ability to post jobs for free. Here's an idea. Free job postings don't get broadcast anywhere - they stay on a Company or Group page. Premium listings get broadcast in the Jobs marketplace as they do now, and maybe you work out a deal with Google or Monster.com to broadcast them in a larger arena.
Email Notifications - What's up with your email notification systems? I keep getting bugged to confirm my email, even though it's never changed and I have you on my spam whitelist. Do others have this problem, or is it just me? Please fix this today.
Answers - if the Answers section is so important (every blog post and book we've ever read on LinkedIn says so), why is it buried under the More tab? Just sayin'. Also, it's pretty clunky and impersonal once you find it. Go look at Quora (or buy them). They have a nice interface that's personalized to your activity and doesn't make you search for everything.
Customer Service - this one's easy, you don't have any customer service. Start from scratch and build a first class organization that actually responds to customer questions. Leverage other services like Twitter or GetSatisfaction or build your own, but make it real-time and staff it 24/7 with people who care.
Marketing - we get that LinkedIn is designed to be a professional exchange, but the holy war against marketing and marketers in Groups and elsewhere has gotten out of hand. Here's a suggestion. Create a new tab called "Marketplace" and let companies and individuals share their stuff there - instead of forcing them to post in Promotions tabs under Groups or in their own buried Company pages. This would be great for everyone since we could freely market our own products and services and also shop for available products and services with full linking to individual and company profiles. Nothing like that exists out there, and it would be hugely popular.
OK, that's enough for now. When you're done updating offices and salaries, please take a look at my list and let us know when we can see some of these improvements.
All the best, John
Photo credit: mariosundar