Anonymous Viewing or LinkedIn Members who wish to remain Anonymous….

Right or Wrong?

Hide your profile or not?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Anonymous #LinkedIn #Viewing

Following participation in several forums, help centre questions, numerous tweets and status discussions on my LinkedIn profile with regards to Anonymous viewing, as you may or may not know, I was asked by LinkedIn to take part in a conference call on this topic.

Whilst I know, this may or may not be an issue to people, here in the United Kingdom and also in the United States, there is a growing number of people who are not happy with the features on LinkedIn which enable profiles displaying:-

  • “LinkedIn Member – This member chose to be shown as anonymous”

or

  • “Anonymous Member viewed your profile”

to appear in the section “Who Viewed Your Profile”. This facility is there for members of LinkedIn to utilise but what happens when they do? There are three options:-

  • Your name and headline (Recommended)
    Ian Calvert

    Ian Calvert

    *Engage* ^Collaborate^ *Influence* What do these words mean to you? *Top 1% viewed LinkedIn* & *Top 5% Kred 2012″
    Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Anonymous profile characteristics such as industry and title

Note: Selecting this option will disable Profile Stats. Whenever you switch to anonymous, your viewer history gets erased.

No photo

Someone in the Entrepreneur function in the Information Technology and Services industry from Oxford, United Kingdom

  • You will be totally anonymous.

Note: Selecting this option will disable Profile Stats. Whenever you switch to anonymous, your viewer history gets erased.

or Cancel

[ Note:-

These can be turned on and off as required but in my personal opinion you should not be doing this. Why? Well when you change to either of the two Anonymous functions, you disable you Profile Statistics which in turn, affects your rankings. By making this change, when people are looking for you or someone like you in your profession, disabling the Statistics lowers you down the search rankings. So, personally I would not recommend you doing this. ]

OK – now back to the original points and the conference call…….

The main objective of the telephone conference call was to discuss the reason why when people contact LinkedIn, everyone get’s the same message:-

Hi Ian,

Thanks for contacting me.  Thanks for sharing your comments on how we can make LinkedIn better concerning the anonymous viewer feature. Feedback from members like you provides us with insights that identify the needs of our customers. I sent your message to our research and development team for review and consideration in future developments with this feature.Although every idea cannot be individually responded to or implemented, please know that we do monitor suggestions quite closely for recurring themes. I’d like to invite you to follow us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/linkedin or check out the LinkedIn Blog http://blog.linkedin.com for the latest notifications on site improvements. Both options are great ways to stay informed about new releases and exciting work going on behind the scenes here at LinkedIn.I’m sorry for any inconvenience the anonymous viewer feature has caused
So, standard responses were the main compliant I was receiving from people but also, people were explaining to me, their situation as in:-
  • The idea of people viewing them made them feel uncomfortable
  • Constantly seeing anonymous profiles appearing in their list every day was a concern
  • People who had court orders against people and they did not know if these people were viewing thus breaking the law and the order
  • (Also, when they explained this to LinkedIn, they did not care or comment – in most cases they replied with the same standard response)
  • People that were being harassed by people were concerned that these people were viewing them
  • (Again, when they explained this to LinkedIn, they did not care or comment – in most cases they replied with the same standard response)
  • Being driven out of their previous job by staff and/or management – they didn’t know if it was these people or person viewing them

I put all these points to the people at LinkedIn during the conference call and they could understand where people’s’ concerns and issues were coming from. They informed me, they were already looking into this, seeing if, there is a way, facilities could be developed to improve the reporting process. They then explained that this reporting process, is already currently being reviewed and due to the roll out, of placing the “Help facility/centre” on to mobile and tablet devices like it is on the desktop version, they could not disclose a time frame.

Now the other side….
With the background of LinkedIn evolving from the recruitment industry (that we all believe and understand was origins of LinkedIn), they explained why this feature was in place:-
  • Recruiters, when looking for potential candidates to “head-hunt”, for positions they have to fill, like this facility, so they can view potential candidates that fall within their search results
  • By viewing the person anonymously, they can then decide which person they then contact. This is as some people they view, may not be suitable for the positions they have available
  • If their viewing was Public, then the people they had viewed, could be contacting them directly. When the recruiters feel that they are not suitable candidates, they do not want these candidates contacting them
  • Companies or recruiters, when they have received Curriculum Vitae‘s  (CV’s) or Job Applications, will use this facility to review the candidate to compare what information they have provided is the same as what they portray on LinkedIn
  • Furthermore, they can actually see more information on person applying as to the type of person they are by their activity etc

So now the two sides of the argument have been put forward…….

In summary, both sides seem to have very valid points as why the Anonymous should or shouldn’t be in place – which is or who is, right on this topic?

Personally, from my point of view, I do feel that there should be a feature where you can opt to block people, who are viewing/looking at you Anonymously. We are all professional people and we are using this site to network and create our Circles of Influence.

For example, if we were at a networking event (which after all, it is our decision to attend), see and meet other professional people, it is our decision as to whether we talk to them or exchange contact details. Thus, I feel the same function should be available to us. We should have the right as to who views our profile or not on LinkedIn as we would if we were at a Networking event.

As a result, I put this point across to LinkedIn and they did say that this was something that they were looking into and would raise this at their product development meetings that are taking place.

I asked that they raise this as a matter of concern, and would they be able to say when an answer / solution would be known? They said, that after their meetings, they would come back to myself with some answers and updates shortly, so as soon as I hear anything or receive further updates, I will share these with you all.

If you have any questions either contact myself via here or complete the form below:-

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