Friday, March 06, 2009


I use LinkedIn frequently for work. I've passed 1,000 connections, which I realize is quite a bit more than the norm. However, at this point, there are at least two dead people I'm connected to. It's a little bit odd seeing them when browsing through contacts, and it's gotten me wondering --

Do folks view this as a bit of memorializing, or more likely, their families are unaware of the account and/or how to remove it?

>> Apparently, LinkedIn does have some sort of a process for removing people.
Good post on a similar topic with Facebook.


Friday, August 08, 2008

reviewing Mike Gamson

I spoke yesterday at eTail on leveraging Social Media. My panel went well, and judging from the questions afterwards, there are a lot of companies at different points along the adoption curve. Questions ranged from how to start a blog to monitoring social chatter to ROI models.

The panel before mine was titled "Unleashing the Power of Web 2.0". Mike Gamson, of LinkedIn, was presenting. During his talk, he mentioned that he frequently talks at colleges to students about how they present themselves online. This felt like a very similar presentation. There was a long history of the companies that were 1.0, and who's now leading the 2.0 revolution. There was mention of Reid Hoffman founding the company. There were, however, very few lessons on how to apply any of the growth LinkedIn got to growing your own business. Which seemed odd to me. LinkedIn's a huge success story - surely there were lots of choices that could have helped or hindered its viral growth. There was a mention of Dell's success as a participant in social media, ignoring the Jeff Jarvis debacle. And, after 95% of the room had raised their hands to say that they use LinkedIn, there were 4 or 5 slides showing the LinkedIn product, including the demographics of the site.

So, since it was on Social Networking Day, I'll ask a social question - if you were attending the panel, what was your take? (I know what Dan Neely thought.) And, Mike, if you're reading this, what was the goal of the presentation?

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Friday, September 28, 2007

LinkedIn, some assembly required

I've generally viewed LinkedIn as a giant online phone book, with the added benefit of allowing me to keep up to date on career changes of folks I might not normally speak with. Thom Singer has a rant up today on his experience with LinkedIn. A user took offense to him refusing to connect, after he received the generic "You're a person I trust; let's link up" LinkedIn email.
Thom has a policy of "no linking unless we've shared a meal or a beer"...the question for him really is, is that the social norm at this point on LinkedIn> Given he's a public speaker, there are going to be a number of people who feel as though they have a connection, and would like to link to him... It's a tough call, since LinkedIn can rapidly turn into a network of people who want to make connections to sell something. Generally, people DO write nice intros, but I often find myself replying that I'll forward something, but it's going through someone I dimly know, and I can't verify it'll get to the end recipient. I've often thought that LinkedIn should allow some granularity with new contacts, for advanced users..something that would allow us to limit the contacts that requests might be forwarded on to.. Eg, if I've linked to person X, because we met at a trade show; maybe I don't want to forward requests through him, because I don't feel there's a connection there.
Thom's got to do what's right for him, weighing whether the occasional antagonized emailer is worth a clean network. I suspect for him it is.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Harry Joiner got booted by Facebook after attempting to invite his 4,600 Gmail contacts to join. A good summary is on Huffington Post. I'd assume this'll hit main stream media early next week, first on Valleywag, and then into the Wall Street Journal. It does open up an interesting question; with the rise of Web 2.0 applications that encourage you to upload lots of information, what happens when they no longer want you? I rely on LinkedIn to keep in contact with a variety of people I used to work's a bit scary to think about the established relationships that could have a significant amount of "static on the line" if free services of this type were cut off. Hopefully, Facebook will apologize, or they'll be looking at another "Jeff Jarvis/Dell" type incident.

[Updated] - I received this from Harry:
Hi Josh,

Thanks for the coverage on this. I know that many of your readers are members and "Internet Retailer" subscribers, so I'll take a moment to clarify:

All I did was follow the instructions on the Facebook UI to invite my current contact list to join. Facebook never informed me of a limit. My understanding is that technology writer Robert Scoble has 4200 Facebook contacts — and last week, Mr. Scoble described Facebook as "the new Rolodex" and hyped its click-to-call compatibility with the iPhone.

Moreover, Facebook's email address inhaler slurped up every single Gmail address I had on file — which just happened to be 4600 and change. Facebook even served up hundreds of photos of my contacts who were already members.

Honestly, it appeared to me as if everything was cool when I hit SEND. It was only when Facebook's customer service rep gave me the boot in a misspelled email that I realized that I had been "F'd"

If Facebook had given me a limit, I would have obeyed it. No problem. I am a member in excellent standing on several online communities and social networks.

Note to members: Even as this thing continues to gather steam in the blogosphere, Facebook has remained quiet on the matter. A mistake. Moreover, Facebook customer service was incredibly resolute about the permanence of their decision -- even though they never gave me a Warning or an opportunity to atone for my actions.

It was like getting an instant death penalty for speeding on an unmarked highway.

Kind regards,
Harry Joiner
As seen in "Internet Retailer" magazine

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