My First LinkedIn Spam

By | February 13, 2008


Got my first LinkedIn spam today:

Hi Jeremy,

[name deleted], here… we are linked on LinkedIn

I know you’re interested in earning an in~come on the internet. I also know you probably wouldn’t mind if ‘understanding it’ was made easier for you.

Well, I’ve been notified about a new F.REE report by internet marketers, [etc ad nauseam]

I logged in, and it’s true: We are linked on LinkedIn. Or were; I’ve deleted him as quickly as I could. Or at least I tried to: There’s no easy way to do it. (I found the answer, not in LinkedIn’s answers or help page, but on Ask Dave Taylor, who points out that “with so many different social network sites cropping up, it’s pretty amazing to me how few actually let you edit the connections you establish.”


My policy with LinkedIn has been to add more or less anyone who asks to be linked. This is highly irresponsible of me, of course, but I figured it wasn’t going to do any damage since I don’t really use the tool. Now, after this bit of spam, I’m not so sure. If people see I’m connected to a spammer, maybe that could do me some damage. As I’ve never received a job offer, or even an indecent proposal, via LinkedIn I’m frankly not quite sure what it’s for. But if it’s a way for people to spam me then I’m all for tightening the guest list a bit.

So I’m going to start weeding out my LinkedIn contact list, which currently stands at about three gazillion people, only four of whom I’ve actually met.

3 thoughts on “My First LinkedIn Spam

  1. Xenia

    The usefulness of LinkedIn probably depends on the industry you are working on. I received dozens of job offers for PR positions (did not take any of them though) and also several business leads. I also had several requests of bringing people together.
    I also find it useful to actually track people when they switch jobs or if you want to make sure you are talking to the right person within a company etc.
    However, I am only connected to people I personally know or at least worked with at some point of time. I guess the quality of your contacts also makes for the usefulness of the network… it’s not as much fun as Facebook but not the same time sink either…
    Greetings from San Francisco,

  2. Gus

    I’m surprised you seem to know so little about LinkedIn and its usefulness. Like Xenia, I’ve received job offers and leads that were interesting enough that I appreciated the contact, but I have also reconnected with classmates I didn’t realize were in sectors and countries relevant to my work or community building interests, and gleaned useful information about potential work/business partners that I used to prepare for meetings/interviews.

    LinkedIn’s value seems to me to be dependant upon how large your connections list is. The website started becoming “useful” to me when I crossed 1,000 connections – so unlike Xenia, I do not personally know most of the people in my list. But without that critical mass, few would see me (which is a nice twist on the old adage: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you)

    I may have received spam related from LinkedIn connections – I’m not sure because (1) it has been so few, especially compared to the valuable messages I have received, and (2) one of the nice things about these kinds of websites is that I remain in control of what I read and how much time I let them take up of my schedule

    LinkedIn isn’t Facebook (where you and I are connected), and I am thankful this is so. LinkedIn has proven to be far more useful to me, especially over the past 12 months


  3. Anonymous

    Gus, I’m connected to you? Really?

    Anyway, glad to hear you’re getting job offers. Maybe some sectors it’s good for that. And it’s an interesting point you’re raising: You’re using LinkedIn exactly how it’s not designed to be used (“Only accept an invitation if you know the sender and want them in your network.”) and yet the way you use it makes a lot more sense, and it’s clearly working for you. That’s kinda interesting.

    Actually, for the record, the spam was not in my LinkedIn inbox — tons of that — but direct to my email.


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