I know, this is a tired debate of QvQ (or Quality vs Quantity).
I maintain that different people, with different circumstances and objectives, should have a different position on the spectrum of QvQ. LinkedIn has, on the record, been on the far “quality” side of the spectrum, saying you should only connect with people you “know and trust.” Without calling this position utterly stupid, or as my English friends might say, poppycock, I will suggest that their advice has always been outdated and completely unrealistic.
But that’s just me And I really don’t care to get into the almost-religious debate of which is right, which is better, etc.
In fact, LinkedIn doesn’t even agree with their own strongly-stated advice. Throughout the system you are invited to connect with people you don’t know and trust (importing from other systems, for example).
Anyway, the reason I wanted to bring up this open wound again is that Nick Corcodiloswrote a post talking about his shift from only wanting to connect with people he knows and trusts to connecting with, well, pretty much anyone. Read it here. He’s spot on.
One quick thought: I’m not saying the goal is to get a bigger network (aka, the most connections). But if you think about the online connections like you do an online networking event, you might choose to connect with people differently (and have different expectations of the roles in the relationship).
I’m in a Group with Sabrina Woods, who is a great thinker, and she posted a link to this post. I love all of the ideas and tips and thoughts from people who spend so much time teaching and training on LinkedIn:
This is a pretty scathing post, but I think it is the pink elephant. LinkedIn has the power to do what the internet did to travel agents and car salespeople. Of course, there are still care salespeople, and there are still travel agents. But, LinkedIn HAS and will continue to change the recruiting/staffing space.
I’m all for evolution of business, processes, etc. And I have a really hard time thinking that recruiters are going to go away, since buying a car is vastly different than hiring the right person to do a job. But LinkedIn is definitely shifting how things are done, providing the tools and incentive (save money). I also think they are disrespecting staffing professionals, while they are capturing massive amounts of intelligence from them on how they can drive them out of business. OR, maybe they’ll simply create new markets and industries.
Anyway, the article is definitely worth the read, as are the comments. Go there now on recruiting blogs, and see the 30+ comments on Greg’s own blog here.
I’m not sure anyone reading this blog is going to pitch to VCs, but pitching is inherent in what we do, whether we are looking for money, customers, evangelists, etc.
I love the Reid shared this and put his comments after each slide. Not only can you see what he thinks (from various perspectives, including the guy who pitched it and a now-VC who sees these from other companies), you can also see what LinkedIn used to look like, and what their early aspirations were and what they thought their direction was.
One is a Company page that is doing cool stuff (engaging a lot of LinkedIn users with questions/comments), some are API interfaces (which is hard to get approval for, I asked last week and I doubt I’ll hear back from anyone at LinkedIn)…
Check out the list at the post, and drill down on each one to study them. Makes a lot of sense if you are a big business with a big name or budget. For small businesses, I’m not sure you can really tap into what those companies are doing.
Part of the issue has to do with technology and tools, but the real issue has to do with what your network will do. What if you really could have a 100% private profile, then share it with someone you “know and trust,” and no one else…. and then that person copies and pastes it to the internet?
Yeah, the human factor is what is going to break it for you. If you want it to be private, don’t put it online. Not on LinkedIn, not anywhere.
I’m sure that LinkedIn has been sued before. You can’t get that big, with that big of a reach, and not have lawsuits. After all, isn’t it the American Dream… either win the lottery or win a lawsuit?
Well, this lawsuit (here’s a special website for the lawsuit is kind of pretty darn serious. And this week everyone seems to be talking about it. I’m not a lawyer, and my ability to digest a bunch or articles is questionable, but here goes.
Wait, let’s just clarify what the accusation is, as far as I understand it. I think LinkedIn is accused of taking LinkedIn member’s login information for their email accounts, like Gmail, Yahoo, etc., and logging in as the user, without the user’s knowledge or permission.
That is quite an accusation, considering LinkedIn is the company that chastises us if we even consider connecting with someone who we don’t know and TRUST.
Of course, LinkedIn denies everything, but I learned in my Business Communications 101 class that the first response from any company, ALWAYS, is to deny everything. That is step 1. Of course they are going to deny HACKING into user accounts and spamming their contacts. So their denial doesn’t mean much to me.
Here is LinkedIn’s denial: Setting the Record Straight on False Accusations. I wish the CEO or Reid Hoffman would have written a “setting the record straight” post, but this comes from Blake Lawit, the “Senior Director” of Litigation at LinkedIn. (total aside: what a cool last name for a lawyer :p)
In ERE’s post, the comments are interesting. The first commentor (a recruiter) says: “LinkedIn has done exactly what they are denying. I’m glad this has been addressed.”
The third commentor says: “LI has a “terms and conditions” for us to sign which basically says they can do anything they want and we can’t do anything, but “them’s the breaks” you typically get with a near-monopoly.” So yeah, that comes back to clicking “Accept” on things without really reading the legaleze, which I would guess 99% of the people do.
Oh wait, it gets uglier than that. Instead of just stealing your username/password to your gmail (or other email) account, they will already have your username and IF YOU ARE LOGGED INTO YOUR EMAIL, THEY SIMPLY WALK IN THE FRONT DOOR.
That doesn’t seem like something a company we should trust would do.
Honestly, I have a hard time believing that any ethical company would do that – access my contacts when I’m logged into my email? I feel yucky now
I find the lawsuit coming out now to be interesting timing considering they just opened up access to 13+ year old kids. You can read what Kick Corcodilos thinks about that here: LinkedIn For Kids: The biggest lead-gen pimp on the Internet?
Lower the minimum age + accusations of hacking into open email accounts = ?
My prediction is that this will be a gnat on the windshield, they won’t lose market share, many users, or value on the artificial stock market. And somehow, people will forget about this.
BUT, here are two thoughts…
First, I wrote this post to talk about my thoughts on LinkedIn Contacts, which is kind of, almost CRM: LinkedIn Contacts vs. LinkedIn Policy: Now This Issue Can’t Be Ignored. If there was a trust and policy issue with Contacts (that is, putting private stuff into LinkedIn, outside of the social tools they provide), is there a bigger issue of trust based on these allegations? You betcha.
Second, in LinkedIn’s denials they said this: “We do give you the choice to share your email contacts, so you can connect on LinkedIn with other professionals that you know and trust.” The problem is that not everyone I communicate with on email do I KNOW, or TRUST, or LIKE. Doesn’t that seem like a problem with their logic, if indeed they are getting to my email contacts?
What do you think? Do you trust them? Will you trust them with YOUR contacts/relationships?