Since a year or so the deterioration of the LinkedIn timeline has been very visible to me. Next to an increasing number of people sharing things as if LinkedIn is Facebook, the timeline is not under the control of the user, and presents algorithmically determined items. Sometimes that results in seeing things days or weeks after they were posted when I would have liked to see them the day they were posted, but instead got the rants of someone else. The only way one can shape the LinkedIn timeline is by removing people from it. So I did, and removed all people from it. I came to the conclusion that I’d rather have no LinkedIn timeline, and use it as it was in the past, as a digitised contact list. Of course that brings my LinkedIn experience back to the place where it was when Jyri Engestrom predicted its demise if it didn’t introduce an object of sociality in April 2005. I’ve been using LinkedIn since June 2003 (user nr. 8730), and the barebones ‘digital rolodex’ actually serves me well, to see the background of someone I meet, and to allow others to see the same about me. From now on I can skip the timeline that LinkedIn serves me as a default, and engage with people in my network, and the things they share on my own terms and initiative, seeking them out when I want. Next to keeping my own notes.
To get to an empty timeline I had to unfollow everyone I’m connected to. Which is not a simple thing to do, as LinkedIn provides no easy option to unfollow large amounts of people, and requires you to unfollow everyone one by one. Of course there are work arounds and that is what I used, with a snippet of code in my browser console.
LinkedIn can be nice and quiet, with everyone unfollowed