Friday, September 25, 2009

LION meets LYIN - LinkedIn a little too much

There are many people who participate in the LinkedIn business social network, and people on the network have different criteria for linking to others. While some people are extremely selective about whom they link to, there are others who will link to thousands upon thousands of people.

It should be noted that linking to someone does not automatically constitute an endorsement of that person. To use an example that I've used before, Chris Brogan has linked to me, but that does NOT mean that he formally endorses me. He knows hardly anything about me, and thus would be ill-equipped to give me a recommendation.

However, I will additionally state that you should be somewhat careful even about linking, and that you should at least employ a minimum of checking before establishing a link.

I view the activity of my LinkedIn connections via a feed that I send to Google Reader. I find that this is an efficient way to keep track of what is going on in my network, and alerts me when one of my connections links to someone that I also know. Well, I saw this notification not too long ago - I've removed the name of my connection:

[DELETED] is now connected to DICK (RICHARD) HERTZ (JANITOR at Unemployed)

Yes, my contact actually established a connection with Dick. And if you'd like to see Dick's public profile, go right here.

JANITOR at Unemployed
Greater New York City Area

JANITOR at Unemployed (Self-employed)

6 connections

Management Consulting

Unemployed (Self-employed)
(Self-Employed; Management Consulting industry)

Currently holds this position

And yes, Dick does have six connections on LinkedIn. They aren't viewable, but I'd be willing to bet that they are all LIONs, and if they're not, they're people such as "Charley Horse" and "Prince Albertinacan."

Now there's no problem linking with such accounts on FriendFeed, but if you link with such a "person" on LinkedIn, then that reflects poorly on YOUR judgement.

Picture source, license
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