After almost exactly two years I've finally closed my Linked In account. When it was first created, I thought it was interesting and thought it'd be beneficial to have my information there, both for me to contact people and for them to contact me. I gave it plenty of time to be useful, but it just hasn't done anything at all for my life.
First, though I had 106 contacts, I didn't know most of the people. Neither in person or virtually. What happened was that at first I invited anyone to link into with me on my blog. That was the "game" right? He who has the most contacts wins. At first you were even listed by the number of contacts you had, remember? Then later once I realized how annoying and useless it was to have people connected to you that you don't actually know, I had a hard time saying "no" to invites. I should have made a hard and fast rule like Jeff Clavier has where if I haven't met you in person, then I don't link with you. That may have made this service more useful, but I doubt it.
The only time I ever interacted with Linked In was to approve invites. Over the entire life of the service, I've gotten maybe three or four requests to pass on messages/contact information. Only one - which happened within the first few months - actually was a real business contact where I added an important middle layer of introductions. The last time was just today where I was asked by someone I don't know to pass on a message to another person that I also didn't know, and I decided enough was enough. I just emailed customer service to cancel my account. Yes, I thought about just deleting the people I didn't know, but each deletion of a contact requires an individual request to customer service (it's not just a check box and submit operation) so I finally just decided to cancel the whole thing.
I think in general, people who would want to use this service are pretty contactable without using this system, no? At least to me they are. I mean, I had my email and web site in the bottom of my profile as did many others. And if you're a hard to reach person, you're most likely not using this sort of thing anyways. Anyone can contact anyone in five hops, so what real use is it?
Maybe I'll add myself back in at some point in the future and only connect with people I actually know, but I doubt it. I should've seen much more value in the two years of using the service, no? I think so. Yes, the Social Networking craze, to me, is now officially over. There really is no there there.
P.S. I've permanently Opted out of Plaxo as well. Whew!