Yesterday I read a blog post about a LinkedIn user who was unhappy with the service and had opted to delete his account. I’ve been here before as well.

Back in my previous job as an ERP developer, I wasn’t actively using my LinkedIn account and the only emails and connections I got were from recruiting agencies.

Why am I on this network and what is it for? I simply couldn’t get my head around the right way to use LinkedIn. I spoke to a few people about it and all of the said you must be on LinkedIn, even if it’s just to have your details there and you never use it again.

Rather than going with the advice of many I spoke to, I deleted my LinkedIn account.

A couple of years rolled by and I changed jobs twice. It wasn’t until the end of last year that I re-created my LinkedIn profile due to the fact that I had been paid off. I wanted to broaden my scope for a job so wide that I was willing to go back on LinkedIn and have my profile searchable by everyone there.

Now that I am grudgingly back on LinkedIn, I’m back to where I was previously, what is LinkedIn for? I understand that as a network, LinkedIn does require some time to be spent on it updating your profile, making new connections, sharing interesting links, taking part in LinkedIn’s groups, but I tend to forget about doing this and it’s only when I receive a notification that I end up spending five minutes or so reviewing my profile, maybe adding a skill to my profile that I have picked up in the last couple of months.

Faced with the prospect of deleting my LinkedIn account again or just sucking it up and trying to invest some time in my LinkedIn profile, I’ve decided to opt for the latter. I should be using LinkedIn to market myself as a freelance Rails developer, but how do I go about doing this? Here’s one idea I had:

Sharing Rails How To Guides - In order to attract clients to my profile, I should write a number of “how to” guides on using Rails and share these on LinkedIn. These won’t be small blog posts, but in fact detailed guides to some aspect of implementing a generic feature in a Rails application that will demonstrate my knowledge of Rails and what I can offer in terms of knowledge as a developer.

I’m still slightly perplexed by LinkedIn as a network and what I can do to make better use of it. Perhaps you have some idea on using LinkedIn effectively? If so, contact me with your thoughts on using LinkedIn. I’d like to get more out of LinkedIn rather than it just sitting there not doing very much.