Saturday, 7 August 2010

LinkedIn or not?

Image captured in Pathankot, Punjab by
Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan,
 (Flickr, Creative Commons)

My experience of LinkedIn has been a frustrating one.  The Times of India recently published an article on a devastating fire at the photographic studio of Bourne and Shepherd in Kolkata, and the current owner's attempt to trace surviving historic images by the studio, known to be held in libraries and museums in the UK.  The RCS collections in Cambridge University Library hold over 500 images by Bourne and Shepherd so I tried to make contact with the Times of India special correspondent, Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay, who wrote the article.  I tried first to contact him via the newspaper and had to complete an online Letter to the Editor form, as there was no general email facility.  However, I also located him on LinkedIn via Google, so hoped to be able to make contact that way.  I signed up and opened an account (yes, another password required), but to my horror discovered that I could only email him if I upgraded my account.  Naively, I started to complete more online forms, only to discover that I would be charged monthly for the upgrade.  My experience of LinkedIn ended there, until today when I have briefly checked out the profiles of Libby Tilley, Andy Priestner and Sarah Stamford on LinkedIn.  I looked at their lists of connections, membership of Groups, but am not convinced that I shall use LinkedIn again.  I have found more relevant support from, for example, my membership of SAALG.

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