Imaginary friends

by Volker Weber

Yesterday I made an interesting observation on LinkedIn. One of my contacts had gained literally hundreds of new connections in a very short period of time, and I did not know any of them. Usually you know some people in the second degree of separation. You know whom your friends know. Sometimes you are connected to them as well, sometimes not. But very rarely you literally see hundreds of people you never heard of before.

As it turns out there is a swinger club on LinkedIn called LION. It stands for LinkedIn Open Networker, and it basically means those people will accept connections from anyone which cares to link to them, although they don't know each other. The sole purpose seems to be to amass as many connections as possible. Since LinkedIn makes it hard to connect to people you do not know, they have set up a separate database and created tools which generate invitations.

What a sad bunch of people.


It's a good reminder to go through one's network and check for continued relevancy. Though LinkedIn seems to make it hard (impossible?) to remove someone from your network once they are "in"... can it be done?

Ed Brill, 2007-07-05

I noticed these so called power networker in openbc/XING, too. Deleted lots of these people from my contact list. And I do not add anyone to my list who I don´t know from my real life anymore...

Alexander Kluge, 2007-07-05

Yup - Ed - on the connections list, you can select people and "remove".

Did it for the first time last Thursday. (long story - best told in bar)

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2007-07-05

Ist that the purpose of those Platforms? I always thought so. It looks to me that most of the members of these networks use them get as many contacts as possible.


Mitch Ryder, 2007-07-05

Is this a status thing or is it more like my kids collecting Pokemon cards? At least they could have Pokemon battles with their cards. I wonder if something similar is happening deep within a secret linked-in splinter group battles..."my five-times-removed cfo of a billion dollar corporation takes your four-times-removed president of a 100 million dollar corporation [evil laugh] - now you have to delete him from your contact list [another evil laugh]"

Asad Quraishi, 2007-07-05

Asad, great post. =)

Philipp Sury, 2007-07-05

Asad: as much as I respect Vowe, even HE sometimes been caught up in his buddy lists.

Tony Lee, 2007-07-05

Indeed, Tony. This is a very thin line to walk.

Volker Weber, 2007-07-05

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