Have you heard of SWAM? Let me ruin your day.
SWAM on LinkedIn is “Site-Wide Automated Moderating.” Fancy name, huh? Here’s what it means. If one LinkedIn Group admin decides you need to be “blocked and deleted,” then you just lost ability to participate in Group discussions EVERYWHERE on LinkedIn’s Group.
That’s right, one moderator, who might be in a bad mood, have an itchy trigger finger, or just have made a mistake and meant to block someone else, will just have completely taken away your ability to communicate in other Groups in LinkedIn.
I don’t know why one person would have that much authority and power over you. This means that going into a Group is putting yourself at risk for taking away most of your power in LinkedIn.
I say “most of your power” because since LinkedIn removed LinkedIn Answers, there really isn’t that much more to do, proactively, to get your brand, name, thoughts, etc. out there. Yes, you can use Status, but that doesn’t go to the 800,000 members of the HR Group… people who are your peers. You can supposedly write an influencer-like post (I can’t yet), but who knows who will be able to see that, and will anyone actually read those in a few months, when it is flooded with crapola from everyone in the world?
SWAMing is a huge policy blunder, in my opinion. I’m becoming more convinced that whoever comes up with this stuff at LinkedIn must not use LinkedIn, or understand their customer. Oh, I’m sure they are concerned about spam and all the bad-guy stuff, but the policy stuff that comes out of LinkedIn.
You can read more about this SWAM issue on Forbes: LinkedIn Ruckus Continues As Victims Of Site-Wide Moderation Defect
Let me say, I have had plenty of bad-guy spammers try and join my network or my Group. And I want them to be booted out… especially the fake accounts. But I don’t think that I, a member of LinkedIn, and a Group moderator, should be the final power and decision-maker in taking away their account or Group contributions, at the “site-wide” level. That should be decided by LinkedIn staff, based on IP addresses, patterns, etc.
This is long, long overdue.
Although, I don’t see the option like in the blog post… so maybe not ALL people can, but it looks like it will be soon!
It will be nice to hear from others, other than the elite “influencers,” or whoever their ghost writers are.
I wonder if WordPress and other blogging platforms see this as a threat.
As I work on the fourth edition of my LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD I said something that made me think a bit. It had to do with the “who has viewed your profile” section, which will show you nothing unless you upgrade.
For many years I’ve felt that this is another way that LinkedIn gets people to upgrade. We like to know who’s looking at our stuff, and what they think, and what their interest is, and if we are in a job search, IF THEY WILL HIRE US!!
So some people upgrade just to see who has viewed their profile, hoping for more intelligence to help them know who they can talk to, and why.
“So, I noticed you looked at my LinkedIn profile today. What did you think?”
No, that is kind of tacky, and wierd.
“I saw you viewed my LinkedIn profile today. Can I help you with anything?”
Ugh… that sounds a little too forward…
“Hey, I saw you were on my LinkedIn profile today. I’m sure you would reach out to me with questions – I just wanted to let you know I’m here if you want to talk.”
Too weak… ambigious, no question and no call to action
Dang, this is really hard!!
So what this really comes down to is that someone might be viewing my profile (stalker??)… and now I’m in the weird position of really wanting to know what they want, so the best way to do that is to … stalk them back!
LinkedIn has made a stalker out of me, so that I can stalk my stalkers!
Yikes… this is too much.
Folks, here’s my 2 cents: don’t worry about who has viewed your Profile. Who knows if they even spent more than a nano second on it. They might have read it, but they might have skimmed in 5 or 10 seconds and just moved on because (a) you didn’t have what they were looking for, or (b) you did have what they were looking for, but you made it way too hard to get in touch with you! (there is a lesson in both of those… fix them!)
Furthermore, I’m reminded of a passionate recruiter I met at a conference many years ago who was talking about the technology that allowed you to know if he (the recruiter) had opened your resume. He HATED this technology… not because it gave the job seeker a peek into his world and activities, but because, he said, “it gave a false hope to the job seeker. Just because I opened your resume doesn’t meant that I liked what I saw. I might have spent 2 seconds or 2 minutes on it and decided you weren’t a fit. All you know, though, is that i opened the resume.”
I’ve seen this false hope perpetuated with my contacts and audiences with the Who’d Viewed Your Profile widget. Not to mention that most people aren’t going to be gutsy enough to say “hey, you saw my profile… let’s talk!” It would almost be like flagging down every car that passes in front of your house to say “hey, you went by my house! Can I help you with anything?”
Don’t stalk the stalkers… just make it easier for them to “get” you and to reach out to you.
For many years I’ve said there is no silver bullet… not in job search, not on LinkedIn… it just doesn’t exist.
But I’ve finally found the silver bullet in a post from Job Jenny: How to strike gold with 2nd degree LinkedIn connections.
The bottom line is this:
- Search for an ideal prospect,
- See how you are connected to them,
- Ask for an introduction.
That’s it. It’s called networking, folks! Not the superficial almost-feel-good stuff most people do in the name of networking, which is stuck at the surface level. This is the real thing.
I don’t know how you can get around this. Know who you want to talk to, figure out who can give you an introduction, and then you actually have to communicate to the person!
That’s as close to a silver bullet as I can find.
I get down on LinkedIn regularly, but here’s something they did really well. I’m not changing my position on skills and endorsements, I still think they are beyond ridiculous. This post is about the email they send you when someone has endorsed you.
I don’t have an old screenshot of what this used to look like, but the redesign is much, much better. In the old email it had a list of names, and a list of endorsements, but you didn’t know who endorsed you for what. Now you get something that can be helpful in your networking (for example, to send them a thank you, or at least know what they think you are good at):
Again, endorsements are one of the dumbest things LinkedIn put in the system, but this email redesign is one of the best I’ve seen because it gives you the information you need to act on (or, follow-up).
John Sumser is an HR consultant that you’ll meet at any HR conference worth going to. He is usually a speaker, and I’ve been following his newsletters for years.
- How is it possible for both the user and LinkedIn to own the same bit of data. The language in the Terms of Service is a delightful contortion here. It says something like “you own your data as it regards you. LI owns your data as it regards everything else.
Folks, tell me, who owns the Contacts (LinkedIn’s CRM) data? Do you own it? It certainly “regards” you. But it sure as heck “regards” everything else.
Wait, that sounds stupid, doesn’t it? If YOU collect information about a person, whether you got it from a phone call, or an email, or face-to-face, and with permission (they say “here is my wife’s cell number, you can call me next week on that number”), and you put it into LinkedIn’s Contacts, WHO OWNS THAT DATA?
I bet LinkedIn will say they do. Of course you get to see it, as long as you can access your account, but I bet they’ll say it is data that regards someone else, and you are not entitled to export it, and you don’t own it. You have just given ownership of data you collected, for your own business or personal needs, to LinkedIn.
Ah, but we trust LinkedIn as a good steward of our data, right? Yes, we do. Just as we trust the NSA to not do anything unethical or bad with whatever the data is they are collecting on us.
Many years ago I was talking with an engineer at LinkedIn about having a one-click sync button between JibberJobber and LinkedIn. This would allow people to click a button and have all of their first degree contacts in JibberJobber, with whatever information we would get from them. For sure we would have name, email address, company name, title.
This engineer said there is NO WAY LinkedIn would do that. Why not? Because it would be a breach of privacy on behalf of their users.
I believe that he honestly thought this, and was not just giving me excuses. The logic, however, is grossly flawed. A breach of privacy? Are you kidding? All we wanted was to allow JibberJobber user to bring in contact information from people who had agreed to be their first degree contacts! This means they already had their email address (the invitation to connect process shares email addresses), and I bet in 99+% of cases they could easily get the other information (company, title, etc.).
A breach of privacy? More like “we don’t want to empower users to NOT have to use LinkedIn every time they want to network.”
Who owned the data in that case? LinkedIn’s message was that you are not entitled to any rights with your first degree contacts.
It’s a big facade, folks. If you are using LinkedIn’s CRM tools – putting in what I would call “meta data,” or data about your contacts, you are fooling yourself. Keep putting the work and data and intelligence in, but don’t be surprised when you find out that you don’t own any of it.
Maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe they have a different set of policies for LinkedIn Contacts. But they haven’t earned my trust over the eight years that I’ve cared to pay attention to it to confidently say to my users “Yep, I totally trust LinkedIn will do the right thing for you.” Unfortunately, the actions and decisions of the last couple of years would make me more inclined to say “use it at your own risk, but one day they might make accessing your data in Contacts a premium feature,” just like all the other now-premium features they moved from the free side.
Trust them if you are a sucker. Otherwise, find another CRM tool to store this data in, especially if you want to “own” down the road.
LinkedIn recently introduced a “volunteer marketplace” for unpaid non-profit work. What do you think?
I think it is a cool idea, and will help people understand what needs there are, and where they can serve (and fill in gaps on their resume).
The comments on this TechCrunch post are not very forgiving, though.
What do YOU think? Will this be helpful to people?
This is for Group owners and managers. It is not intuitive (see frustrated managers asking here). It has changed over time, and there are a lot of people asking how to remove a discussion from the Manager’s Choice “Carousel.” Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to do remove a manager’s choice discussion (which you might do because it is outdated, or to make room for others, since there is a limit).
FIRST, go to your group and scroll through the carousel to find the discussion you want to remove. Click the title so that it opens up on it’s own page.
SECOND, scroll to the bottom of your announcement (not to the bottom of the comments) and click this link:
That’s it. There is a dropdown next to the title where you can only do one thing: DELETE the discussion. I don’t want to do that, I just want to get it out of the carousel… and this is how you do it
As I was researching for a post last week about doing x-ray searches on LinkedIn, I came across a cool tool. First, check out my post on x-ray searches and try it out. It’s pretty easy: Do deeper and “x-ray” searches on Google to find “unadvertised” jobs
Now, check out this site: Free People Search Tool. Apparently the results come from LinkedIn, Xing (a european professional network), and Viadeo. Pretty easy to use