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Miscellanous LinkedIn (and Facebook) Roundup

August 3rd, 2007

social networks - image borrowed from businessweek.com - if you want it back let me know.This is a very small roundup with some very cool resources:

Want a makeover?

It seems that I’ve inspired Scott Allen, author of The Virtual Handshake, guide on the entrepreneurs site at About.com, columnist for Fast Company and even executive editor of my new book (coming soon) I’m On LinkedIn – Now What???. He is starting a LinkedIn profile makeover and will probably do them monthly. Go on over and leave a comment on this post to put your name in the hat – wouldn’t it be cool to have him do a makeover for you? He’s quite a bit smarter than I am, and very analytical, so I’m sure that it will be done in good taste and you’ll get good value out of it.

Recommend someone to nurture your relationship!

The next link came from Scott, pointing me to Naina Redhu’s blog post about writing recommendations on LinkedIn. Seems like a simple thing but Naina provides excellent advice on how to write an effective recommendation. I strongly encourage you to read it and then apply it today.

Beware, using social networking sites can be hazardous to your (mental) health!

Finally, there was a policy and feature change at LinkedIn a couple of months ago (I didn’t see this on their blog). Here’s the deal… if I invite you to join my network, you have the option of saying “I don’t know you.” Seems like no big deal, right? Well, it is a big deal. Currently (I’m expecting this to change), if I get five people that click on that little “I don’t know you” button then my account gets… suspended!!

Still no big deal, right? What if I go into my Outlook Contacts, with 200 contacts, and invite them all? Many of them either don’t know me, or won’t remember me… I’m pretty sure I would get 5 clicks from that and my account will be suspended. I’ve heard LinkedIn users cry “foul!!” about this feature since it came out. The intention is good, but the implementation is rotten.

Think this is limited to LinkedIn? It’s not. Harry Joiner, the Marketing Headhunter, has just been banned by Facebook for uploading his Gmail contacts. Granted, there were 4,600 contacts in his Gmail account… but the bottom line is that his account was permanently disabled. Harry can’t play at Facebook anymore (unless he goes under another name and e-mail and fakes them out). It’s not that uncommon, apparently.

There seems to be a big question mark with regard to this kind of policy right now – companies are saying “you can’t do that” while users are saying “isn’t this what the site is all about??”. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can’t imagine that this is going to be a big deal for big companies in the limelight like LinkedIn and Facebook, but when you cross the line with a recruiter who blogs (and, btw, who all recruiting bloggers have immense respect for) you kind of have to be careful. At least they are getting publicity.

Here are some of the others that are blogging about Harry’s problem:

  1. RecruitingBloggers.com
  2. Seattle Recruiting
  3. Recruiting Animal
  4. College Recruiter
  5. Wireless Jobs
  6. Facebook Observer
  7. MarketingProfs
  8. Dave Mendoza

The bottom line is, use it, have fun, but beware of little gotchas that can wreak havoc on your mental health (for example, even though there is an Outlook plugin for LinkedIn, I wouldn’t recommend you use it to invite your contact book until this is resolved) :) Good luck Harry!

7 Comments »

7 responses to “Miscellanous LinkedIn (and Facebook) Roundup”

  1. Chuck says:

    Interesting about the “I Don’t Know You” button.

    I think you should be allowed to prevent the errant “I don’t know you” claim with a single line of text explaining how you know the person.

    “We’re co-workers” or “I met you at the conference” or something along those lines.

    -Chuck
    http://www.ihateyourjob.com

  2. Jason Alba says:

    Chuck, I agree. You would think that works. However, I know there are people that will not make that connection… I’ve heard of it happening… another way to avoid getting flagged would be to have an e-mail conversation OUTSIDE of LinkedIn, and if they agree to connect let them know you’ll send them an invitation. That way, they know it’s coming and have already agreed to connect.

  3. Scott Allen says:

    I think an even better solution, when you have their e-mail address, is to contact them outside of LinkedIn first and make sure they’re receptive to a LinkedIn invitation from you.

    I did a recent post about sending batch LinkedIn invitations in which I pointed out:

    Most important thing, though, is not to send 3,700 invitations, and not send the ones you do choose to send all at once using a generic boilerplate invitation. LinkedIn makes it far too easy to do that, and then the current rules end up basically punishing most people for what they made it easy for you to do.

    And therein lies the problem. It pains me to say it, but LinkedIn doesn’t really have a very good understanding of the total system dynamics going on here. It seems that feature decisions are being made in isolation without consideration for the impact on other parts of the system, or in light of real-world user behavior.

  4. Scott Allen says:

    Oops… Jason already said that (about contacting them outside LinkedIn). Silly me.

  5. Jason Alba says:

    That’s okay Scott, it’s good that you had to comment twice, makes it look like a livelier discussion :p

    Really though, it is a great solution. Something I read somewhere that makes a lot more sense is that if these sites are going to have policies like this, aside from posting them as policies so that we understand what’s going on (Harry claims that he had no idea he was doing anything wrong), how about if the system doesn’t allow you to upload 4,600 invites?

    In other words, put a message that says “you can only invite 100 people this week/month” … and leave it at that… instead of getting banned right away. The system should be smart enough to keep us out of trouble, instead of assume that we are going to be intimately with the policies (that are probably changing regularly) and keep ourselves out of trouble, especially if they appear to do something like give us enough rope to hang ourselves with.

  6. Bobby Capps says:

    It would seem to me that a “I Don’t Know You” is just asking for trouble. By that I mean since the internet is based on honor system what one person considers to honorable may not be honorable to another.

  7. I think validating a profile is not possible even for a fee.