LinkedIn Confusion

What happened to LinkedIn and how did they change? I've been a “member” since November of 2007 and over the course of that 5 years plus they have morphed into something I don't understand any more. Let me start with a bit of recent history.

In an effort to maximize my use of their system I used the easily available function of sending messages to my contacts – how can there be a system where using the built-in function results in the ability of a recipient being able to mark a simple not as “spam”?? I was blocked for a week (might have been shorter if their customer service had read the tickets I submitted in a timely manner – took 5 days to read the first one).

And, of course, I don't want to tempt that “beast” again so I read the terms and conditions and “do's and don'ts” they have posted and am even more confused. They profess to offer the opportunity of building a professional community and yet frown on direct communication between the parties (a built in function of the system).

To shed a bit more light on my conundrum I offer a different scenario to consider. Instead of this electronic community imagine being in a more physical and visual one where we work in the same building – or company. Perhaps we live on the same street or same neighborhood and happen to see each other at the same stores or local venues. If I were to approach anyone on my list of contacts in this arena and express enthusiasm for a product, service or local thing, then this would be welcome and even appropriate – even with the “casual-ness” of our connection – merely a visual recognition. I WOULD NOT BE TAKEN OUT AND SHOT FOR SHARING AN IDEA. And yet as an electronic community, that is what happens. I am guilty of a heinous crime of wanting to share with my contacts, something that excites me and I know they deserve this knowledge.

While I am not sure I have a good solution to my confusion, I have a plan of action that I am going to take. I created a group on LinkedIn –

It is called “The Don Silver Connection” and is open to any and all. Requirements are that you willingly and knowingly are open to receive communications from me. How simple is that?

Want to know my latest ideas? my latest opportunities? or just what's on my mind? That's the point of it all.