Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is the Deal With Linked-In Sending Bogus Link Requests?

People are valuing linked-in as if it was the second coming of Christ.   But is the site all it is cracked up to be, if they use fake "link" requests to get people to join?

I briefly joined Linked-In, in order to find a former client whose maintenance fee was due.   I searched online and the only thing I found was his Linked-In page.    I explored the site and it seemed interesting at first - sort of a Facebook for professionals.

You can upload your resume, some articles, your photo, contact information, etc. and also answer questions, and validate each others' skills.   

But like with Facebook, I started getting a lot of "friend" requests (link requests) from people I didn't know and had no prior contact from.   In fact, compared to Facebook, the number of friend requests is about 100 times more.

So after visiting it a few times over a number of months, I finally closed my Linked-In account.  Or so I thought, anyway.  That was over a year ago.

I still get emails from Linked-In from people saying they want to link to me.

What is going on here?

After all, if my account is closed and my page has been removed, there should be no way for someone to find me on Linked-In, right?

I tried searching on Linked-In, and I can't find any page with my name or contact information.

I tried logging-in to Linked-In with the e-mail address they are sending these requests to, and it says there is no such account with that e-mail address (!!!!)

Yet, still the requests come.

Receiving Invitations When Your Account is Closed

Why do I still get invitations even though I closed my account?

Last Reviewed: 02/07/2013
You don't need to have an active LinkedIn account to receive invitations from members who want to add you to their networks. If you no longer want to receive invitations at a particular email address, you can contact us to permanently add you to our "blocked email" list.
Note: If you ask us to add your email address to the "blocked" list, you won't be able to open a new account with that address.
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OK, that's weird.   They acknowledge that this is an issue, but don't say how people can "find" my account on Linked-In and ask to be linked to me, when my account is CLOSED.   Is my data still appearing on Linked-In?   I thought I had erased all the information on the account before closing it, but maybe I left something there?

As for who the folks are who are requesting links, either they are bogus fake accounts created by Linked-In, in order to entice me back, ("Robert, see who's been searching for you online!" - the oldest gag on the Internet) or they are Linked-In LIONs (Linked-In Open Networkers).  The LIONs are basically the sluts of Linked-In, asking to link to everyone and anyone who will link to them, so they appear to have lots of "friends" er, uh, "links" on the network.
And that is the sort of thing that turned me off from the website (and it is just a website, folks).   Most of the people on it are just trying to do resume padding, and not any real work.   Have you ever gotten a client through Linked-In?   Do you feel it is necessary to the operation of your business?   Have you ever hired anyone or contracted with anyone through Linked-In?

Just curious.   I haven't found it to be of much use.  With a P/E ratio of over 2000 in 2014, someone must think this place is a rocket ready to take off.   Clearly, it hasn't left the pad just yet.

And you have to wonder, with these bogus e-mails from people you've never heard of - is there any "there" there?

* * *

I searched "Linked-In Sucks" and found a lot of interesting pages.   This one comment stood out:

"How many people do you know who have been hired as a result of their LinkedIn profile?

I know more people who have been abducted by aliens."

The thinking is, if you go on Linked-In, set up a fancy page, answer lots of questions, and then link to a bazillion people, a headhunter will magically find your resume online and e-mail you with a job offer starting in the six figures, with stock options!!!!

And the folklore is, if you don't have lots 'o links, then you must be some antisocial dweeb who is not worth hiring.

The reality is, of course, that headhunters will contact a cold corpse and offer them a job (I still get contacts from headhunters, and I'm virtually unemployable!).  The headhunter gets paid when they land someone in a position - they really don't care if the job is right for the person or vice-versa.   But that is the subject for another post.

Whether employers are cruising Linked-In for employees is another matter.   In this economy, I highly doubt it.   They have the jobs, and if you don't have the balls to apply, they ain't going to go begging for you.  If anything, a Linked-In page, like a Facebook page (or a blog) could be a liability in seeking employment, as too much information can be a bad thing.   For example, do I really want to hire someone who spends all day long grooming their Linked-In profile?   I might actually want them to do real work.

This blogger notes that Linked-In is trying to play upgrade peek-a-boo by saying you have to buy a "premium" service to get the full name of a person - but displaying the full name on the Google Search page, and in the URL itself.   And ironically, an unregistered user can actually see the full user's page.

It's a freaking website.   For the life of me, I don't understand why people value sites like this with stratospheric stock values.    Yes, Amazon is just a website - but also a huge retail conglomerate that actually sells physical things, takes in enormous sums of money, and makes huge profits.

Social Networking, on the other hand, well, is just a website.  And while you can make a little money from websites with user fees and advertising, history has shown that there is not a lot of money to be made on these things - at least not enough to justify the fantastic stock prices.

We'll see!

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