Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If your friend joined a LinkedIn group, would you join it too?

Because of the primitive nature of our social tools, many social services assume that just because your friends like something, you'd like it too.

Take LinkedIn. I recently received an email from them which included the following statement:

Joining a LinkedIn group makes it easy to stay up-to-date with classmates, colleagues, and other professionals.

Here are some groups your connections have joined.

LinkedIn them listed four groups, recommending that I join them.

As it turns out, one of the groups - "Biometrics - Fingerprint" - is one that would interest me. But the other three suggestions (75% of all suggestions, if you want me to drop stats) are failures.

One of the suggested groups is the "3M Cogent Networking Group." This actually sounds like an interesting group, but I know that they wouldn't have me as a member. You see, I work for a competitor of 3M Cogent, and while some of my LinkedIn connections work for 3M Cogent, I don't think they'd necessarily want me joining their company group.

As for the other two suggestions, "Alpha Epsilon Pi Alumni" and "Kadena High School Alumni," those are complete failures. Perhaps one or more of my LinkedIn connections have joined these groups - I'm not sure who - but inasmuch as I have never been a member of any fraternity (or sorority), and my high school was Wakefield High School, it would be inappropriate for me to join either group.

At least LinkedIn gets points for trying.

Now let's see if it asks me to join an NEC networking group (NEC is another competitor of my employer), or perhaps even a sorority.
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