Have you noticed LinkedIn has been afflicted with a highly contagious infestation?

Now is the time to look for a cure to eradicate the contamination source(s)…

With all of the H1N1 virus information constantly in the news, I couldn’t help but notice the maladies taking shape on my favorite professional networking site, LinkedIn. What “disease” am I referring to, you must be wondering… I don’t know the exact strain, but it is what I would label as extremely inconsiderate, clueless and unprofessional conduct.

Perhaps, like me, your usual response to the rapid influx of spammers, scammers and other obnoxious posters who have aggressively boosted their presence on LI, is to simply ignore them. Sort of like when you drive down a remote highway and swerve to avoid road-kill. Now that I think about it, these folks do share some similarities with decomposing, smelly, squashed rodents!

It started innocently enough, with the random invitations to connect from strangers in far-away mythical lands with absolutely no concept of how to craft a compelling and relevant introduction to make someone possibly consider “meeting” them. It then evolved and continues to mutate into a seemingly endless barrage of useless and irrelevant posts on assorted topics ranging from work-from-home, get-rich-quick, sell-this-fill-in-the-blank-miracle-potion-and-earn-millions-in-just-two-days, to resume blasters, social media wizards, Hogwarts and muggles who will revolutionize your SEO results and help you land your dream job in the process!

Ignoring this “stuff” does not seem to convey the right message. Lately it seems that just like when blight builds in certain neglected neighborhoods, these people and their stealth maneuvers have gone relatively unnoticed and certainly undeterred. Their presence on this site has turned into the equivalent of graffiti and other forms of vandalism that ruin an otherwise pleasant place. Left unchecked for too long and it eventually becomes a slum.

As an active participant on LI for close to four years, I really don’t want to see that happen. The vast majority of us, joins and remains on LinkedIn for legitimate professional networking purposes. Thus, we value the original intent of the site in providing a method and venue to do just that. The existence of the above element is creating an unhealthy experience for newcomers and veterans alike who may not have fully developed or protected their immune systems yet…

Recently, I’ve engaged in a few discussions with different group members who feel the same as I do, that changes are needed to prevent further disintegration and deterioration of a once vital organism. The question is, how exactly do “we” the collective members of this community, establish an atmosphere which is unwelcoming and inhospitable to this invasion? Will you be the one to invent the “vaccine” needed to save us all?


1 Comment »

  1. Valicia said

    I believe this will continue as long as there’s no work for people who have little to no options for income earning. There is little one can do other than to check these posters in the group, moderate by democracy.. if they are blasted every time they post inappropriately they’ll move on. The purpose they have in the group is to recruit professional people who need an income opportunity. Currently unemployed or underemployed business professionals are making up the biggest growth of home based businesses, i.e. MLMs and internet marketing. They are having great success because of their professional skills which give them an advantage over the average MLM’r and the competition is high to recruit from the ranks of business pros seeking leverage and income.

    These are the new unwashed masses of people who’ve got little understanding of the culture of Linkedin and what it once was… they see it as a free advertising ground for their target market, recruting for unemployed professionals.

    Be grateful that you’re not among the ranks of us who have no employment but otherwise need to work an all commission based opportunity to feed our families. I don’t excuse or condone the ignorance and find it irritating as well, and I market for a legitimate growing company. I also happen to understand the culture of linkedin and know how weird it looks to post an MLM ad in a business forum off topic.

    Your assumption that “us all” is everyone on linkedin is erroneous, as there are many who silently are looking for an income opportunity, job or otherwise and do not have the luxury of the stable paycheck. I am a member of the linkedin community and also a network marketer which regardless of the fact that there are shady gigs and crazy schemes cloaked as MLM companies, the same goes for banking, real estate and gambling which have hurt people in numbers far outweighing anything blamed on MLM. Right now the home based business industry is saving the lives of many who have no options or bail out. Perhaps internal controls within groups can help the environment out but have some compassion on the droves of your compadres who no longer hold jobs and have to learn the ropes of commission based self employment. This is simply the new economy working itself out in my opinion. Speak up in the forum and others will too. If its unfriendly to the obnoxious marketer they will leave, they’re people too. Albeit misguided.

    I understand and feel your pain, as the weird and hypey posts are an affront to my sensibilities as well, but most intelligent people can determine the real from the scam if they have their critical thinking caps on. As for the nuisances, flag them, call them out, and talk to the moderator. I’m sure the community coming together will have a voice with the moderator of the group.

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