When I wrote my post about the value of LinkedIn, I called it a “must have” element of every professional’s online presence. I still believe that. So why are so many people devaluing their profiles with endless drivel?

I belong to several LinkedIn Groups, and they are helpful in identifying like-minded professionals and in broadening my network. What they are not, it seems, is a forum for robust discussion.

For an overview of what’s gone awry with LinkedIn discussions, read Craig Peters’ terrific post. In it, he outlines many of the things people are doing wrong, including looking for free advice, traffic whoring, and blatant self-promotion.

I’m personally not so concerned with the free advice component, as we’re all learning every day. Plus providing value to someone else can be a good way to demonstrate expertise without giving everything away. But, like Peters, I’m tired of being bombared with constant come-ons and pleas to “please, please click on my link before answering.”

From a business perspective, I’m not sure why anyone would want their business persona to scream “bad marketer and I contribute nothing.” From a social media perspective, they’re failing miserably on the engagement piece.

As to LinkedIn Groups, they are not now a go-to place for discussion. I think the smart conversation online has largely migrated to Twitter.

Photo by Mikko Luntiala (Flickr).