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Thursday, 16 June 2016 01:32

Should I divorce LinkedIn and Lynda.com?

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As a long-time, but relatively idle user of LinkedIn, I'm quite concerned about the future.

I've always been a little wary of posting too much information on LinkedIn, it's too easy for the "naughty lads of the Internet" to mine it for all manner of useful information. Mainly for use in nefarious activities, of course!

On the other hand, were one to be seeking new employment, it's become the predominant posting site to advertise one's wares.

Such a dilemma.

As a public company, it was necessary for LinkedIn to protect users as much as possible, notwithstanding the occasional data breach!

Now that it is to become a division of Microsoft, one might expect that a significantly larger number of security eyes will be upon it to ensure such holes are not repeated.

But that's not where my concerns lie.

When iTWire reported the purchase announcement a couple of days ago Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella commented, "The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world's professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet."

THAT is where my concerns lie.

Perhaps I really don't want details of my work history plastered all through Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics. Perhaps I don't want to be data-mined in Microsoft's relentless pursuit of the next dollar. Perhaps they should ask me whether I'd like my details stored in what will (seemingly) become the Facebook of the business world. I remain totally unconvinced by the statement that LinkedIn "will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence".  

The simple retort is, "for how long?"

Right now, I'm seriously contemplating the deletion of my profile. Recruiters be damned.

In addition, our previous report obliquely noted that the education site Lynda.com, being a recent purchase by LinkedIn, would now also become part of Microsoft.  

Will Lynda become lost in the plethora of educational offerings already hosted in the Microsoft stable? What of the training materials for products that directly compete with Microsoft's own offer?

Perhaps that horse might be permitted to bolt out the door – it doesn't seem like a particularly good fit in Microsoft's overall strategy.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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