Sorry I haven’t written much in the blog lately – too busy building products and focusing on fundraising.

Recently, we noticed many people upset with LinkedIn for lowering the quality of the experience. So we launched a survey to learn what people would want in an open-source replacement that we hope to build. Here’s our incomparable 20|30 data scientist Ellen Miller’s report:

“These comments are based on 109 responses. The survey is still technically open but the rate of response has now slowed considerably.

The majority of responses (76%) did not pay for LinkedIn. Of all the respondents, only 6.5% thought LinkedIn had no value, and the most common response (41%) was that people checked it occasionally and got something out of it.

However, there was a high level of dissatisfaction mentioned in the freeform comments. The most common reasons for this were:

Lack of functionality, often compared with past functionality and connected with the Microsoft takeover;
Also along the same lines, the prices charged, especially given that some of the functionality that now requires payment used to be available without charge;
The content, and what appears in the feed – especially the lack of control over what users see, and the lack of professionalism of some posters;
The new interface being very non-user friendly, and also very buggy.
Although not many people chose to talk about not having control over their own data when considering what was wrong with LinkedIn, it was mentioned many times in the comments on how a dream replacement for LinkedIn would look. Also, the lack of ability to verify other people’s data, whether personal (CVs, endorsements) or business (job specifications), was a key concern.

When asked how 20|30 should position ourselves to get more people to join in, “Use positive messages about an open-source platform for the future of work and owning your own data” was the overwhelming choice at 79%. One particularly cheering comment stated “You have started fairly well by this survey. Thinking in terms of Value and Value added to both employer and job seeker on what would it take to disrupt the balance to have job seekers and employers engage in the new product.” Happily, 78% of respondents said they would be interested in joining us to build our open-source solution. We collected email addresses for newsletter subscriptions, so hopefully some of you reading this have subscribed because of the survey:-)

A couple of very telling results were that the most common way respondents described themselves was as networkers or consultants. The most common reason for them using LinkedIn (58%) was for networking. The most frequently mentioned activities were people growing their networks, reading articles, and sharing things they found interesting. This strongly implies that networking, rather than jobseeking, is a core aim for those using LinkedIn (at least, those willing to respond to our survey), although jobseeking or employee seeking might well be an indirect end result or desire of this networking. There were also many comments about a new platform or application being more active than LinkedIn, having communities around shared interests for collaboration, with a strategy for getting people involved with shared activities, where serious and qualified contributors can get more involved, more focus on events, partnerships, meet-ups and side projects.

With regard to location, unsurprisingly, 30% of respondents came from the US, followed (interestingly) by Switzerland and the UK. Everyone else was scattered around the world, including from Morocco and Qatar, and even a place called Planet Heart:-)