They sent me an email saying "There are 108 people you might want to connect with", so I click on view all and it shows a giant list of people with checkmarks by their names. Nice. I uncheck all of them, and scroll through checking a few folks who I want to network with (5 people in total). Click next, it takes me to a screen showing the 5 people and the banner clearly says "Send connection requests to these 5 people?". I click next.
The next screen says "Congratulations, we've sent connection requests to 300 people.". What the flying fuck? Ok, well that's a bummer but oh well, probably just a bug in their system. Then my inbox starts getting spammed with "I'm out of the office right now blah blah blah" from people who I don't even know who they are.
The assholes sent 300 people linkedin connection requests through my own personal gmail account. With zero warning whatsoever. That really pisses me off.
I like LinkedIn, it's a great networking tool, but they really need to stop doing this shit. Something similar happened a few years ago, but they only spammed people in my address book who were already members and the emails were sent by LinkedIn, not through my gmail account.
I've revoked LinkedIn's access to my gmail account. I regret ever enabling it in the first place. I recommend you do the same.
For those who don't know how: https://www.google.com/settings/security (click the view all button next to Apps and Websites).
The fact that they requested access to your email account should have been warning enough.
I personally see LinkedIn as horrible, and deleted my account long ago. They don't let you restrict who can view your profile, and they allow people to remain anonymous. For anyone who cares about Privacy, this should be a huge no-no.
However, I would claim the fully visible profile is actually a feature.
LinkdedIn is not Facebook. LinkedIn is a professional index, like the yellow pages, with the difference that the minimum inclusion is free.
with the exception that LI is a social network, where the goal is to interact, rate, and comment on different scenarios
You have deleted your account and clearly don't find LinkedIn useful.
Are you really surprised that you don't understand why people who do find LinkedIn useful (and there are large numbers) would use it the way they do?
The original commented suggested that they sent the email themselves as if it had come from the user, not merely setting Reply-To.
Why? Precisely because of this: there are lots of perfectly legitimate situations when a third party sends email on your behalf.
Moreover, if LinkedIn signs their outgoing emails with DKIM, that would be a positive signal for a spam filter (and e.g. Gmail would show such mail as "sent via LinkedIn" or something to that effect).
Although "there are lots of perfectly legitimate situations when a third party sends email on your behalf" strikes me as being rather wrong. I cannot think of a single reason why anyone else should be sending email that claims to be coming from my email address. Sending email that lists me as a reply-to, sure. But as the sender? Not a chance.
Like I've uploaded version 1 of the plans, added some notes and the system needs to send out an email to everyone, I did the action, it's coming from me, not the system.
There's a reason it's part of the spec.
However, all the clients says "why does this email come from email@example.com, I want it to come from my email address, I'm sending it".
Yet LinkedIn goes far beyond that. LinkedIn is clearly engaging in "dark ui patterns", hoping to trick you into giving those keys (and using them too!) when you are not mindfull.
I honestly don't know what people are thinking while enabling that.
I believe Facebook was the first site to ask users for their email passwords -- and to great effect, at least on their growth metrics.
Whoa, I just looked at the friend finder page and it still does that for some email providers: http://i.imgur.com/bC9xEEM.png
I do like LinkedIn as a professional network. It's helpful when going into meetings, I can check out the people's backgrounds and use that as added context / something to relate with. It's helpful when trying to figure out whether someone could be a good sales/biz dev opportunity based on their background and experience. If I trusted them more, I may consider integrating them more tightly with some of my sales funnel workflows - but for now, I will continue using them as a standalone tool.
The current version shows up when you click "Add Connections" but it used to be much more in-your-face.
At first, I was bewildered, then I realized it must be because theotherparty granted access to their contacts.
I think we need more advertisement of this terrible practice -- and or try to get google to aggressively block their access to do this sort of thing from your gmail, as what it is -- essentially a phishing/malware attack.
But, the thing they do that really bothers me, is to ask people endorse me for things, in a way that suggests I asked to be endorsed for those things. But I didn't. It just found words related to those in my profile. And people who like me or want to be helpful click OK to endorse me for shit that I have nothing to do with. Like ASP.net.
I just don't like that it makes people think I asked to be endorsed. For stuff I don't know and don't do.
Years ago, recruiting advice was insisting that a LinkedIn profile had become necessary. But even back then, the configuration / data sharing they insisted upon, and worse, the reporting on some of their bad (from my perspective, and also others') behaviour was just too much for me, and I stayed away.
I imagine much of what one gets through LinkedIn is akin to much of what one gets in the rest of the corporate world. A lot of BS, and you left at your own discretion to discern the truth -- such as it is and is reflected in that environment -- amidst all this.
P.S. I'll add that LinkedIn seems to have become a poster child -- albeit a lame-assed corporate one -- for "dark patterns".
Especially when that someone already has a bad reputation like linkedin has.
Oh, it's okay as long as they send messages to those contacts using their identity, so it's not traced back to you ...
I sent a message to support saying "I never gave you permission to do this" and they took the time to reply and say "yes you did".
In addition to being good practice in and of itself, Google is currently doing a promotion where they'll increase your Google Drive space by 2 GB if you go through their security checklist (see link below):
Why is it a bad thing?
What cool stuff am I missing by using LinkedIn and its restrictive API?
Why should I put effort into an alternative?
Making potentially baseless claims and not explaining their impact beyond "they're bad!" is the kind of rhetoric a middle schooler uses before he or she learns to write proper persuasive prose.
While I agree that data should be as freely available as possible--so long as the person to whom the data belongs approves--I really can't get on board with this histrionic garbage.
Make an assertion. Back it up with evidence. Explain the consequences.
LinkedIn competitors - Viadeo (big in Europe, LatAm, Asia) and Xing (big in German-speaking countries).
If this site is supposed to be serious, they should perhaps remove the superfluous text and add some actual information about what LinkedIn is doing (aside from just linking to the image of the terms of service notification).
--EDIT-- I see that this is a re-wording of FDR's infamy speech which explains the text. I still can't tell if it's a joke or not though.
tl;dr: LinkedIn is pulling a Twitter.
I can't say I'm surprised. It's a common pattern: Step 1: plant a nice open garden that attracts lots of people. Step 2: put wall around garden.
That said, I haven't used LinkedIn in years. Have no interest in it, for anything. If I needed work, I might consider going back, but I doubt it. I certainly wouldn't hire someone based on a LinkedIn profile, and I probably wouldn't want to work for someone who did.
I think stalking people on social networks is also a net negative experience. I realized I should spend less time worrying about what other people are doing with their lives and focus more on my own.
There was also a recent NY Times article about how employers use LinkedIn candidates contacts to disqualify them for employment. So LinkedIn can actually be detrimental to your career.
I just don't think LinkedIn adds anything. Businesses and recruiters use it to get your email to target you for spam. But what do you get out of it and think, if there wasn't a LinkedIn would you be out of a job right now?
Just like any personal information, its best to keep it as private as possible and default to a "need to know" basis. The era of naively optimistic voluntary sharing of sensitive personal information ended when we saw the potential consequences.
Potential employers want to know where you worked? They can ask you themselves. I'd also like to know who the board members are playing golf with, what their future capitalization plans are and if/when they plan on jumping ship. Too bad none of that will ever be shared with me. So why should I share intimate details of my past?
Information asymmetry is power in the modern world. It is foolish to relinquish it voluntarily.
And likely favors those who place lots valid information into the world, not those who keep it secret.
So, no I don't care either. LinkedIn is THE way to connect professionally. Some API rant is not going to change that.
Going forward everyone will have to register and be approved in only 1 of the categories, meaning that if you are in the Company API, you won't be able to utilize features of the Profile API.
I don't know exactly what that means as far as specific features, but my guess is that if you're a company you won't be able to access personal profiles and feeds. I could be totally wrong about this but that's what it looks like.
But I wonder, is LinkedIn really "the" way to connect professionally? My personal bit of anecdotal experience is that it isn't for me. I was on LinkedIn for maybe 15 years? I accepted everyone on LinkedIn (I was not discriminating at all). And in that 15 years, I never found one job through it. Right now in Seattle (where I've been for 10 years), I go through my "people I drink beer with" network.
What I'd love to see is a network that would introduce me to people in other cities. I want to move to NYC, but I know no one there. So I don't know the good vs. bad neighborhoods, companies to stay away from (you know there is a list), etc.
2 years ago I was trying to move upwards in my career path. I had a good job, but boring and I could go weeks with doing almost no work. I was simultaneously considered a valuable employee while actually operating as fluff. I decided to move into the world of configuration management and "devops". I spent a few months implementing puppet in our lab and in a few places. Then I updated my Linked with puppet experience. A few months later, I got an offer at a local university that was implementing Puppet. I figured I would work there a year and get really solid Puppet Experience. I worked there about 3 months, got much better with puppet, but hated the place. I updated my LinkedIn resume again with my additional Puppet experience (all my responsibilities at the new job were puppet/automation related). I instantly started getting calls. Then I landed an awesome job with a large service company. I loved that job, hated the commute. I wasn't even looking but as I updated my resume, I started getting recruiters from Facebook, Netflix, Google, and finally a work-from-home one from EMC that I jumped on.
I basically don't use it for anything else and generally ignore emails that they send me. (And only accept connection requests from those who I--within 5 seconds or so--see some reason to connect with. If I don't recognize your name or your company doesn't imply some good reason to connect, I'm ignoring you if you send me a canned request.)
Articulate your anger more clearly. And if you're making a historical reference, make sure people get the gist of it even if they don't get the reference
As a user, I'm not terribly concerned about whether you (et al.) can build an application against some other site more easily, and your argument
> only works if that platform is open and your data portable
is undermined by your own link to their article on exporting data. ("Full name, email address, current employer, and position are exported") Can you help me understand why this is such a problem?
These aren't people I want to be on other social media with - they are purely coworkers who might be worth contacting again. And there are other ways to keep in touch... but for this particular use, Linkedin is a good option.
And because that is my primary purpose for having an account, I have no problems with API usage that is more restricted. I don't want an ecosystem built up around linkedin's data. I don't see any potential for that to improve my life.
Facebook had similar rumblings (people saying they'd switch off as soon as possible if something better came along), but Google Plus showed us the social costs of switching was higher than the frustration most people felt.
Does LinkedIn have that same social cost of switching to another service? I'm not so sure -- and I think it means they might be more susceptible to falling flat on their face if they push users too far.
 This may just be my own hope and bias, since I built a job website of my own.
Of course, that means the cost of deleting my account is very low given that I hardly use it in the first place. Something to think about.
This website is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction that tries to rally readers by crafting a context that makes it sound as if LinkedIn's changes are not in the interest of the user.
Yes, I would like open access to the API, but I'd gladly trade that if it helps reduce the volume of spam sales/recruitment inquiries I receive.
The partnership integration route may have extra hoops to jump through, but it doesn't concern someone like myself who's anticipating LinkedIn integration with our product; our intent is not what LinkedIn is trying to curb.
For what possible reason does linkedin effectively mandate a photo? Because while I can not think of any reason this could possibly be necessary for any profession except super model, I can certainly see how it can be used in a very negative way.
But I take your point, it can absolutely be used in a negative way.
I feel the complete opposite way. I've had people claim I know PHP on my profile when I've never used PHP in my life. That's endorse stuff is major baloney. How can you trust that when anybody can just click Endorse for whatever they want?
For some engineers. There are many, many excellent developers who don't spend much time on Github. John Carmack doesn't even have an account, for example...
I.e., I'm sure someone out there does it, but they are dumb.
(Admitidely trying to outsource work just to save money was dumb, but it wasn't my decision, so I had to make do)
And more details with a clear explanation of why the website wants us to stop using LinkedIn would be appreciative.
Choose services where you can export, and migrate data before the fact, not after it.
Checkout the #ownyourdata initiative also.
As I see it, the only thing worse than LinkedIn spamming me based on my employment history is other companies spamming me based on my LinkedIn employment history.
There's many reasons to stop using LinkedIn, but this doesn't seem like one.
Occasionally I get a recruiter contact. My current job of three years came from that.
I never endorse anyone. I never respond to endorsements, as most of them are well meaning people endorsing me for something I've never done; I contact them personally by email to say "I don't do endorse, but thanks, still love ya."
I never respond to connect requests. They're increasing in number, and lately sound like 419 scams.
I'm virtually never logged in. They don't have my email access or adddress book.
If they die, or charge me, or something egregiously slimy ... so what. They aren't the only way to connect with people. I actually expect them to go the way of GroupOn (are they still around?).
Just minimize your LinkedIn exposure surface and interaction and you'll be fine.
To make it not so, _users_ need to stop using Linked In.
This OP is very developer-focused in it's audience, it will not be clear to the non-developer user (or even to many developers) what they are talking about at all, or why it matters. It is written assuming you already know what they're talking about and already agree with them about it.
There are plenty of things that might matter to users and help convince users that Linked In is an untrustworthy company -- like, their email spamming/address-book-stealing practices. I was hoping the OP would be more user-focused in it's intended audience and more intentional in making a case.
If everyone who didn't need a LinkedIn profile to get a job shut off their profile, LinkedIn's revenue would collapse quickly.
Right. And clearly someone that actually _needs_ a LinkedIn profile to get a job is not going to shut off their profile, which is the hard part.
But either way, I think this OP is not written/structured as well as it could be to convince people to shut off their profiles and/or stop recruiting on it, it seems to be targetted more at people who write software for linked in API, and doens't do a great job of making the argument even there.
* get connection request
* reset password
* log in
* accept connection
* log out
* do not think about linkedin again until the next connection request.
I'm going to go see what's involved in deleting my LinkedIn profile, I think. Github should be my resume anyway.
* get connection request
* open mobile browser
* switch to "request desktop page" mode
* log in
* accept connection
* log out
* do not think about linkedin again until the next connection request.
- Get connection request
- Open private tab in firefox
- Temporarily disable noscript blocks for linked-in domains
- Accept the connection
- Close tab, re-enable script blocks
They are way too creepy.
There are some people who need to stay anonymous for various reasons including lawyers, M&A people, etc. The setting for how you show up in other people's who viewed your profile is controlled by the individual user. It is a privacy thing.
The messaging when upgrading used to be much more clear - you would get to see more people who viewed you as opposed to just the last few - not de-anonymize people. They seem to have made it more ambiguous since I left.
When I'm casually browsing around I don't want to think and worry about what the reaction might be to my name popping up everywhere.
Someone viewed your profile. Pay to see who.
You show up when you view others' profile. Pay not to.
Someone viewed your profile, but pays to not be visible. Out bid them to see their profile. Pay to actually see who.
You pay not to show up when you view others' profiles, but they pay to still see you. Pay more?
Do you see how this seems deceitful?
Why is it assumed that it is "unfair" for a company providing a free service to hoard the data you give to them?
If you don't like LinkedIn, don't use it. If you don't like LinkedIn because they won't let you steal their data, then I'm sure they will be happy that you ignore them. Trying to convince people who don't care to stop using LinkedIn is pointless.
It's unfair because LinkedIn had built a precedent of openness and made no indication that this was a temporary or limited offer (at least not a straightforward "hey this might shut off someday..." notice).
Also from purely a market perspective, this is unethical as it's about providing a business platform to others and then closing it once your in-house solutions begin to compete with those you've opened the platform to.
> If you don't like LinkedIn, don't use it.
Problem is, LinkedIn is not just a tool, it's also a network. You can change it as you would a tool, but you'll leave behind the network. Now, get enough supporters to change with you, well then you may have done it! Similarly, the node.js/io.js tussle was/is about getting a better tool but required getting the network to come with (and this was probably what woke up Joyent).
> Trying to convince people who don't care to stop using LinkedIn is pointless.
You may not care but it certainly is a stretch to claim that others don't care (though at face-value, your statement is actually a truism). I would argue that the majority would/will care as long as a strong enough effort is made to show them why. (Also, this link has 200+ points and 100+ comments...)
To get the average user to change their behavior, you must show them:
- why doing nothing will be bad for them (try to show how it will impact their daily life)
- why doing what you recommend will be good for them
+ without putting in much effort or money
+ very quickly
The problem is additional data gets built up, and they gain a monopoly on the information. It results in an unfair market. For me to build a competitor to facebook or linkedin would be very difficult. Even if its better!
I'd like to see a law about user obtained data, that requires it always be programatically accessible.
Since deleting my account, I get much less spam from recruiters. If I still get some, it's easy to get rid of them with a simple reply or a click on an unsubscribe link.
The restriction of API is the same that Twitter did when they became more keen on controlling aspects of the app community. Whether or not that has led to decline in the traffic can be debated, or whether it was just 'time'. It is of course LI's prerogative, but a short sighted view of the world, when over the last 10+ years LinkedIn has shown little ability to innovate and evolve the service - third parties could - and they should find ways to encourage (and monetize) that
The proliferation of alternatives as suggested on stopusinglinkedin indicates there are better ways of connecting with professionals. Professionals who understand your space and less spammy/generalist ways to find permanent and freelance work - if that is your objective. There is most certainly room in the world for a more niche approach to something as important in our lives as that which generates our income.
We have been building www.somewhere.com for a bit now, trying to have quality conversations about work. Sort of by accident people are now using it to find each other for projects.
That puts us in the same category as Dribbble and Behance (without the behemoths behind the scenes), yet we are different in that we want to talk about how the sausage is made and not just show the end product. Will that be a 'winning' strategy? Time will tell, we are curious about work, how we do it, when and where and most importantly why - something others have not decided to focus on, but which we believe should be at the core when trying to find people with whom to work.
Anyway - API or not, LinkedIn is not the only game in town, perhaps they have gotten too big for their own good, perhaps they will do just fine with their 300M+ users and corporates willing to spend good money for volume...either way - we can all build and support alternatives that work better.
This feature is enough to avoid Linkedin. I am scared to click on any profile in linkedin just because of this feature. I always use incognito mode to look up folks in Linkedin. It is a creepy site.
Wait till your connections can submit hidden reviews about you and potential employers can view it for a small fee, like Carfax.
My hope was that my name and face would seem familiar to the people interviewing me. I don't know if it paid off, but I ended up getting the job.
Which is a bummer because if you would be able to actually manoeuvre a big enough user base, those campaigns would certainly be effective due to the "adapt or run out of business" effect it has.
STEP 2: Wait until third-party builds innovative product X on API, more innovative than existing engineering staff could build.
STEP 3: Buy third-party company, aquire product X.
STEP 4: Shut down open API so no one can improve upon product X.
Dribbble (the other design resource listed) I understand was co-founded by designer Dan Cederholm, but oddly if you visit his current Wikipedia page there's no mention of his involvement with Dribbble -only on his SimpleBits bio page: http://simplebits.com/about/
Anyone willing to help write better text? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it swapped out.
Apologies for the intro copy faux pas.
and I wiped it all
BTW, I'm running this tweet update series when people actually notice.
Spoiler alert: < 0.2% of my "connections" noticed
No need to tell me to not use that service.
Yeah, I think we'd all prefer a site like LinkedIn that somehow manages to avoid "recruiter spam" and all that, but for me personally, I can tolerate a little recruiter spam... and hell, every once in a while I get something like that, that is actually interesting enough to pursue.
That said, I think LI has value even if you're not interested in founding a startup or whatever. I mean, I'd rather keep a (more or less) master "rolodex" of people I know and have some connection to, on LinkedIn, than have to spend all sorts of time trawling through old email lists, Quora, Meetup, SO, etc., just to find somebody's info. But that's just me.
Now you are projecting otherness to people who do things differently than you. "Being a programmer" is not some weird club where everyone needs to behave exactly the same. Bytes and algorithms have zero tribal affinity, you know.
To get things back on track here are the points. Cultivating a professional network does not require mediating parties like linkedin and can be accomplished by more decentralized and democratic means that lets each professional maintain control over their own digital presence. Linkedin does not do that and in fact diminishes everyones' ability to do so and therefore it is a bad trade-off to make in the long term since I've already outlined several other ways of cultivating professional connections that are just as easy as keeping everything in linkedin.
I get useful information about available jobs in my segment of the industry because LinkedIn knows what kind of work I do as opposed to just "he's a programmer." The recruiters who contact me from LinkedIn are looking for people in a specific domain, as opposed to "knows language X and framework Y." I consider that to be a hell of a lot more useful than the usual email job spam.
I also get to see if I know someone who knows someone else that I might want to be introduced to. It's a lot harder to do this on your own without a stack of cross referenced rolodexes.
You have cultivated other networking channels. Great! But I would like to point out to you that now you make the basic cognitive fallacy thinking that anyone who is not doing it "your way" is doing it wrong.
I have opted out and nothing about my professional career has diminished so there is an alternative approach that requires nothing like linkedin. Since I'm a counter-example to all the claims your making and my way obviously leads to a more decentralized and democratic approach to professional development I don't really understand the continued support of digital silos like linkedin from people like you.
The claim that they are a digital rolodex is a very weak one since an email contact list serves that purpose just as easily. I'm starting to suspect you are PR spokesperson for linkedin.
As I stated the main value proposition of LinkedIn for me is that most of my connections are there.
Replacing the said connections would require work and time, which I would rather spend on other things. The problem with an email list is that there is no automatic update if the email address changes. Therefore, changing to a email list would lead to a poorer result for me.
I prefer introversion to extroversion. Going out to meetings would therefore be a) mentally exhausting b) take time. The former is doable but the latter is really hard to come by with a 9-5 job and kids.
Now, as to the proposition of spending my energies trying to invent an open competitor to LinkedIn... Building communities takes a huge effort and seems to happen mostly by chance. Also, while being a technology professional my core skillset is in CAD and maths and I'm clueless when it comes to web technologies.
So, in order to do a fancy LinkedIn replacement would require a) time to improve on my web skills, which is really wasteful considering lots of people are good at it already, b) create the product c) move all my dear colleagues to the new network.
The last parts are actually the hardest, I have no idea how to build social sites or how to motivate people.
So, to rephrase why I use LinkedIn: It currently provides me value, and I do not see sufficient benefit to spend time changing mine and my colleagues habits when it comes to networking. Most things in life are morally ambiguous and all one can do is to try to do more good than harm within ones limits. Sometimes all an individual can do is go with the flow.
People have different internal motivations. Mine run completely against social things. I prefer to twiddle on algorithms, draw, play the guitar and play with my kids. I use the social frameworks that exist because I see the value they provide but have no energy to change them nor am I motivated to design alternatives to them.
Yeah, middle age, definetly :)
Most peoples are not motivated by ambiguous "this is evil because..." arguments. Most behavioural changes are best driven by positive motivators - one cannot drive people away from anything by saying "the thing is evil". Eating meat is evil and still people do it, including me. What needs to be done is to provide better alternatives that wean people away from option a) (the evil) to option b) over time.
Then why do you need to flaunt it on linkedin?
LinkedIn is a professional tool. The revenue model which makes Facebook a bit creepy (sell the contact info of the users to the world) is actually, in professional context a feature. LinkedIn helps its users maintain a professional brand and market it to other professionals. The difference is between an olde phonebook that would also contain info on all the personal details and the yellow pages.
Typically, professional indices have charged for inclusion. Linkedin provides the minimum feature set for free.
If one does not have any contacts in LinkedIn then the value of the service of course drops to near zero for the individual professional user.
To me linkedin is just another digital silo capitalizing on the fact that it is de facto middle man between professionals because of network effects. Defending their actions in my opinion is also a very weak position to hold when even someone like me that tends to be on the anti-social side of spectrum has managed to build up a network of professional friends without linkedin's help.
They're an incredible company, but they're a 12 year old product at this stage.
Take a look at my version of the alternative, trying to get ahead of them not replace them:
I'd really like if there was an alternative that can be just as popular, with simple resume hosting/networking capabilities. No bloat or shady practices.
Most unique quality merchandise won't ever found on the shelves of a WalMart. That's a place for interchangeable, disposable, mass produced items.
Oh, and Fuck companies that engage in scummy behaviour like email hijacking.
I used to be a LION so I still have days when I have to filter 20 connection requests. I still accept connections if (1) you seem to be a person and (2) you use your real name (not the name of a business)
The interface for accepting connection requests is painful and slow and so are the interfaces for doing other things on LinkedIn. I find myself using it less and less because it just takes too long to do things.
By restricting the API they just make it harder to improve the UI.