Ralf HallerRalf Haller August 14, 2008

XING tested: “non-business relevant platform for singles…”

Having tested XING over many months, Germany’s biggest newspaper FAZ came to this conclusion (in short): XING is a place to discuss all kinds of subjects, an entertaining, comprehensive place for dating and hobby forums where you can find friends and your partner for life maybe. But as a business contact tool it is not suitable at all.

“Das Web-2.0-Konstrukt Xing, glauben wir, hat die besten Zeiten schon hinter sich. Aus unserer Sicht ist es ein unterhaltsames Panoptikum für alle Themen der Welt, ein vielseitiges Flirt- und Hobby-Forum, in dem man Freund und Lebenspartner finden kann. Für berufliche Zwecke erscheint uns Xing kaum geeignet, denn Kontrakte und Kontakte machen wir immer noch persönlich und am Telefon. Daran hat auch Web 2.0 nichts geändert. Die virtuelle Gemeinschaft vermittelt nur das Gefühl, ein wenig näher am Geschäft zu sein. Das Gegenteil ist der Fall.”

I agree with this statement, having just unsubscribed from it as well. While it was possible to find certain contacts in the IT community, having used it for one of our clients in business development, I saw little prospect of bottom line results with it. I think that the members are mostly freelancers and job-seekers who use it as an inexpensive tool to maybe some day land a freelance or full-time job, and then it pays for itself. If nothing comes of it, and that is probably the case for most people, it does not do any harm either, as expectations are anyway very low. An analogy would be installing a low-cost software package and testing it on your PC — if it is not exactly what you were looking for you simply de-install it. The very same business model is what the XING people seem to be after…