Despite much chatterin thetech blogosphere over the past year about whether business-oriented social network LinkedIn would fade in the face of competition with an increasingly professionalized Facebook, the site appears to be holding on, if not exactly thriving. Anecdotally, I get a new request on the order of once per week, a little less often than Facebook (and way less often than attractive young women with “cams” on MySpace…) but more often than I gain followers on Twitter.Far from throwing in the towel, the site continues to improve. However, there are some annoying tics. For example, a colleague of mine joined recently, and has been having a small problem. Like many social websites, including Amazon, LinkedIn makes recommendations. For Amazon, items you might want to buy. LinkedIn, people you may want to add as contacts:
Or, in this case, not…
Here’s what he got back, about 24 hours later:
Thank you for your email. If you choose to join LinkedIn, uploading your contact list is entirely optional. By uploading, you can discover which of your existing contacts are already LinkedIn members and also invite those who aren’t.
Dashboard scans the uploaded list of contacts, and based on sent/received emails it recommends members you should invite to join your network, based on who you are in contact with most frequently. The LinkedIn People you may know feature uses your email correspondence score, counting the number of emails sent to a particular person to determine whom you may want to invite.
LinkedIn does not gather the “notes” or other fields from your address book. The only fields collected are those required to identify your contact: name, email address, title, and company of your contact. If your contact is already a member of LinkedIn their name will not appear, as that contact already has a LinkedIn profile.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.
Thanks for using LinkedIn!
Brian F. Customer Support Specialist
“If you choose to join LinkedIn… Thanks for using LinkedIn!” What? Did Brian F. even read his complaint? Shouldn’t the customer support specialist know that my colleague is already a LinkedIn user? He didn’t ask for a lengthy explanation of the LinkedIn algorithm, however interesting it may be. He asked to stop seeing his ex’s name every time he logs in to his LinkedIn profile.
Certainly this doesn’t rise to the level of Facebook’s ongoing Beacon fiasco, but LinkedIn should certainly offer users more control over automatic notifications. A check box is all it takes.
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