I am sure that some of us have gotten these really cool e-mails from Linkedin lately helping us put some kind of context around our relative popularity on the internet, or at least on the LinkedIn system.
The problem is that being popular on LinkedIn does not matter to me at all.
Sure the infographic is interesting, but realistically, much like Twitter, LinkedIn has been one of those partial use networks for me. I would be much more impressed to see what my usage stats are for Google Plus or Facebook where I do a lot of my sharing. LinkedIn is like being in the office, where G+ and Facebook are more like hanging out on a street corner with my friends watching to see what is happening downtown.
Popularity though does matter, and LinkedIn should matter in terms of building your professional reputation. In relationship to that the only thing I really do with LinkedIn is make sure that I am putting my best professional foot forward, while hanging out with the boys on the street corner on other social network sites.
If you look at all my profiles side by side, you would think that I am three different people. I do a lot of things, and truly enjoy them, and want to share them, but as photography and writing books are more of a hobby than a way to make money, my LinkedIn profile is more of my professional best foot forward rather than showing off my more artsy creative side.
So while I find it really amusing when people endorse me on LinkedIn, or I hit some magic number in the face of two hundred million users, the bottom line is that if I am in the top 5% of all profiles viewed on LinkedIn, then I am simply one of 10 million, and that is nothing to get overly excited about.
What it does though is reward you for using the system as a feel good exercise. Ohh I am in the top 5% of anything is pretty sweet regardless of where it comes from. So in many ways this is actually a pretty darn clever marking ploy on the part of LinkedIn to want you to improve your status, ranking, or popularity on their site. By making yourself more competitive, throwing more data out there, participating more, and seeing if you can get more attention. At heart we all love attention, in the longer run this makes for a clever and interesting marketing ploy on the part of LinkedIn rather than any real metric that we can hang our hat on.
(Cross-posted @ Hacking Cloud Computing)