LinkedIn Policy Brings Business To A Halt

May 12th, 2010 | by Jason Alba |

There’s something I haven’t quite put my finger on with LinkedIn messages, but it is really messing me up.

I got a message from a contact through LinkedIn (a la InMail) and the ONLY way I can respond is through the LinkedIn messaging system.

I’d REALLY like to just hit reply in my email, but I get this:


I’m not sure WHY they do this (WOULD LOVE TO KNOW)… I have some assumptions… that’s okay, I’ll just do it their way… I click on the “view/reply to this message” link which takes me back to their site so I can reply.

UNFORTUNATELY, for the last hour (I am writing this yesterday afternoon, about 2pm MST) I only get this:


I try to not depend on any given technology to the point where it can throw me off for a while but I’d really like to respond to this message – because LinkedIn doesn’t put the reply from addy from the user, I’m stuck :(

  1. 5 Responses to “LinkedIn Policy Brings Business To A Halt”

  2. By Scott Skibell on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    I find LinkedIn’s email policy infuriating.

    I want all my email in one place. They make you use “their” system instead of your own. Try finding an email or a conversation thread. If you’re a member of several platforms, you have to go search each one individually. This is absurd.

    IMHO, this policy decreases the usefulness of their entire platform.

    I understand outages occur and I’m forgiving of that. Business policies that lock you in are another matter though.

  3. By Matt Moran on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    I connect on LinkedIn and as soon as I make a “strong” connection with someone – one where I believe we will have any valuable exchanges, I get their email and use direct email communication.

    In fact, I almost immediately setup a time for a short phone call…. YES, I like to hear their voice – make a more tangible connection.

    At least LinkedIn sends me their message. Myspace still sends me an email that tells me I have a message – then I have to open my browser to find out what the message is.

    For me, all social platforms are conduits to make contact and then move that contact to a direct conversation – outside of the platform.

    LinkedIn, for me, has a more professional face than Facebook and other social platforms but it is not particularly intuitive and communication limitations marginalize its effectiveness for me.

  4. By Hugh Macken on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    As far as I know, the reason you are not able to reply to a specific email address is because the individual who sent you the message from within linkedin did not check the box to allow you to see their email address. I think if they did that, you would in fact be able to respond via email. I hope this helps to explain it. I realize it does not solve the problem. Perhaps Linkedin needs to modify this default setting.

  5. By Walter Feigenson on May 12, 2010 | Reply

    Jason, this is why everyone should put their contact info in their messages, invitations to link, etc.! And it’s also why LI shouldn’t block these email addresses, which they normally do. But you can usually get messages through with “user (at)” rather than using a fully-formed email address. -walt

  6. By Scott Skibell on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Just the fact that LI would block messages with an email address aggravates me. As users, we shouldn’t have to play games to get around their business rules.

    LI’s concern about us connecting “outside” of their platform, signals a paranoia about their value proposition to me. Why are they so against us sharing emails so we can work with our everyday email tool?

    I am a paying member to LI but I find them to be a necessary evil. They need to focus on empowering services instead of limiting ones. And I sincerely doubt I’ll renew. Sorry, no fan boy here.

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