Making LinkedIn readable if not actually useful

LinkedIn is one of those products whose success bewilders. The site is poorly designed, the firm is openly contemptuous of its customers, and its algorithms are guaranteed to generate comically useless suggestions. It is an advertising racket currently enjoying 1990s Microsoft-style adoption among the hail-fellow-well-met crowd. It’s convenient to have a free profile on it and it is worth the price to squat on one’s own name along with one’s namesakes.

But the cruft… When one does check in (through the website and not its privacy-ripping mobile app) there is a barrage of infuriating junk with which to contend. The Babbitty boosterism of Pulse “influencers,” the suggestions for content-free discussion groups, the teasers for extra-cost “analytics,” and the inducements to amp up one’s profile – just to name a few. Search for how to turn these off and find that it is not possible. LinkedIn relies on its own members to provide technical support and many of these stalwarts are adept at telling fellow users to lump it, saving the company the cost and trouble of doing so itself.

Mercifully, Firefox and Chrome users have the invaluable AdBlock Plus extension and the associated Element Hiding Helper to keep the stench at bay. Through some trial and error, I’ve found these filters to make my occasional LinkedIn visits mildly tolerable. Add them via AdBlock Plus icon –> Filter Preferences –> Custom Filter –> Add Filter and perhaps they’ll enhance your visits as well.

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