Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I am holier than Linked In.

I just switched jobs this week. There is reasonable angst at my former company so of course I am flooded with requests for "Linked In".

In general I am not an aficionado of these various networking sites. I have a facebook, myspace, and linked in account, but rarely use them. Facebook and Myspace completely confuse me - the user interface seems completely non-intuitive to me, and more noise generation than communicative. Of course I am a retro-grouch and long for the days of usenet, and at my former job I held on to using mutt as my email reader (I hate Outlook with a passion, but it appears I am being subjected to forced assimilation at the new job after years of resisting at my former company).

So I finally click over to linked in after someone sent me 4-5 reminder emails that I had not added them to their network. There is a part of the web page that says "People You May Know". This feature has always spooked me, as I always know all of these people but I can't figure out how Linked In knows that. Today there are 2 people I know from cycling/triathlon and one person who was a Fraternity Brother of mine in college. I can't figure out how Linked In could be making those connections from the contacts I have already put in place without also putting in a lot of names of people I don't know- but it never happens. I have seen a woman I went on like 3 dates with 6 years ago and never spoken to again on the list, primarily because she has no common friends with me - period.

We were speculating about how Linked In pulls this off. Someone posited that they are sniffing your Outlook information. Thing is - I have always used Linux and have never had any Outlook contacts. I could be getting correlated from someone else's Outlook, but the whole concept just doesn't make sense to me.

My guess is this...

Linked In has bought/acquired Evite's database and is using it to populate your "People you May Know" area. It's the only thing that makes sense to me - everyone who I have seen on there is someone whom I have been on an evite with in the past.

If so - Linked In you are ON NOTICE. That is totally sucky behavior IMHO.

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