Friday, April 30, 2010

Why I hate LinkedIn

It's because I regularly get email messages that look like this:


Joe Shmoe requested to add you as a connection on LinkedIn:

Ron,

I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

- Joe


and I have no idea who Joe Shmoe is. So I have three choices:

1. Accept the invitation and end up with a bunch of connections who I don't actually know. (Actually this might not be so bad. I have never actually made a useful contact through LinkedIn.)

2. Reject the invitation and risk offending Joe if it turns out I actually have met him and just forgot about it (which is likely -- I have a terrible memory for names).

3. Send Joe a message saying, "Um, who the fuck are you?" though maybe not in so many words.

It's just so freakin' annoying that LinkedIn would supply this completely useless default message that everyone uses instead of encouraging people to write a personalized message that goes something like, "Hi, this is Joe Shmoe. We met the other day at the underwater basket weaving society. I'd like to add you to my network."

For the love of Pete, people, a LinkedIn invitation is no different from any other cold call email unless you are absolutely positively certain that the person you want to link to knows who you are. You should put at least a little bit of thought into the content of the message before you send it.

10 comments:

Dan said...

I get similar linked in messages all the time. It would be nice if there was a way to add the people in a sort of purgatory that didn't offend them but didn't say, "I know, have worked with, and trust this person."

Dennis Gorelik said...

I usually reply: "do I know you?"

Ron said...

Yes, that's option 3 above. In my case, because I have such a bad memory for names, that runs the risk of getting a reply along the lines of, "Um yeah you know me. We met at that event last night." Or "we worked together for three years back in the day. How can you not remember that?"

Dennis Gorelik said...

After you getting such hint you can simply accept the invitation ... or not -- depending on what your memories are about that person.
There is no need to feel embarrassed about forgetting something in our age of information overload.

Curt Sampson said...

When I don't remember, I usually reply with, "Where did we meet?"

Carl Hammerdorfer said...

i'm trying to find a way to sue Linkedin for harrassment. I quit the app a year ago due to all of the crap I was receiving. I appear to still be in their universe, juding by the dozens of friends who want me to be in their network. I've asked LinkedIn to purge me from their system, but they either cannot or will not. Therefore, everyone who asks me to be in their network is ignored by me and potentially, one assumes, insulted.

Since they have several billion dollars, I would be unlikely to win a suit, so I need some class action here. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

LinkedIn encourages fake, spammy connections. They don't seem to realize this cheapens their service greatly. If there is no integrity in their content, what have they [LinkedIn and said spammers] achieved?

Anonymous said...

Well-said all. I loath Linkedin, and in fact bailed from it about a year ago. To my mind it's a more pretentious and ostentatious version of Facebook. Everything people say on Linkedin is so much insincere self-marketing fluff and drivel. In that regard it is much worse than Facebook.

skankworks said...

I usually go a visit their profile, then fifteen minutes later mail them back all excited and say, "You might be just the person we're looking for", and then never respond to them again.

That's what the majority of users expect anyhow, because that's exactly what happens whenever they apply for a job.

Anonymous said...

I find it embarrassing when people I know very well write and ask me WHY I want them to contact me through LinkedIn. Or they say, I've already friended you. Or, or, or. . . . Also, one very old acquaintance actually offered a testimonial about my abilities that she had absolutely no knowledge of. Maybe she thought she'd offend me by not writing it. LinkedIn sends messages to people over my name, messages I've never authorized. I've joined LinkedIn twice. I've quit twice. I will NOT join up again.