Thursday, September 2, 2010

Linked-In or Linked-Out?

Lately, I have been receiving reminders fairly frequently from the socio-professional network called LinkedIn. All this time I have been treating them just as I treat any Nigerian email claiming to share a sudden multi-million dollar windfall if I reply to them; drag-and-drop in the trash – the electronic trash that is – on my computer.

But today I had some time to myself and curiosity took the better of me – isn’t it curious how curiosity does it? I clicked on the link and ended up on the sign-in (or is it the sign-on?) page (I’m sure most of my readers are conversant with the terminology – if not, too bad). I entered my personal email address and tried a few of my usual password. I got in on the 4th attempt – had it been a site designed by folks who design ATM software I guess I would have had it after the 3rd incorrect attempt. “Designing ATM software”, now why does that sounds awfully familiar?


WTF? There were 43 requests waiting for me. Some were requests for endorsements and others invitations to join various groups. I was no longer interested in joining any other group. That left me with 14 requests for endorsements. Suddenly I felt important. People actually want my endorsements? Wow! I started writing a few in earnest. By the end of the day, I had only managed to complete 6.

One question though,… Do potential employers really take these endorsements seriously? I mean in this internet/social networking age, deceptions and impersonations are as commonplace as fries at McDonalds aren’t they?


Sanesh Fernando said...

Forget about LinkedIn and Internet Social groups, if you happen to interview a Candidate for your company and he/she brings recommendation/service letters how would you know whether they are deceptive or not.

So Deception and Impersonation happens throughout every corner of life.

However, I think that LinkedIn for that matter reduce the risk of Deception and Impersonation.

It is by the so called networking concept. If I am the Candidate and you are the Interviewer and if we both are not directly connected, then there has to be someone else linking both of us in LinkedIn. So based on the relationship both parties have on the 3rd person it's possible to verify the endorsements and build a certain trust.

Anonymous said...

ATM Software.. yes it is awfully familiar.. and did you say Nigeria? Now that's double "awfully familiar" ;)

Here is my philosophy on Linkedin, Facebook or any other social whatever-you-call website. Thay are tools. "Any tool is as good as it's user". So if you are wise enough you can use Linkedin for your advantage.

I agree with Sanesh. People do take the recommendations in Linkedin somewhat serious.. besides it is a nice place to showoff... "Prefessionally"... A professional nayaa (sanke) I would say.

btw, Bimal, you write this nice. Looking forward to see this more often.

- Dilan R

Sanjay Fernando said...

Well Ive heard of a single case where a well known company (e.g. Microsoft) hired a country/region manager on his profile.

This wouldn't mean they would disregard looking at verifying the authenticity of his details. However its become a method of head hunting.

Even with FB, what ive heard is that, in the US if they find someone they like (by conducting interviews etc) they do search for his FB profile to see what kind of social life he/she leads.

Anyway this is all hearsay.

You're free to make your own judgement

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

Well I was going around you post for an entry point. In fact going up and down. I mean whether to touch it from bottom and comment on LinkedIn, or to have a bash at Social networking up from the top.

In fact, I have been harassed by half a dozen "virus" sites and I filtered them all. There was one Hi 5 and some others and I just vaguely believe one LinkedIn. That was years ago. Requests from them safely land in my trash box and safely leaves it in due time.

However recently, thru human agents LinkedIn has proposed itself for me every now and then. I am compelled to believe that at min it has some power to deceive a hefty lot of ppl for having many other powers.

Yet I did not join yet. It is a time that I debate. The reasons are not as bad as they were before. Main reason is that I have not applied for a foreign job for many yrs, and don't see a reason for such in another one or two. I will blast my gascuts if you're telling me that SL companies do refer to LinkedIn. In past many years interviews were the easiest form of professional encounter, [and shhhh...] so I see no value it can add to me and Sri Lanka while being considered together.

But for anyone interested in foriegn adventures, this must probably be the place. Again LinkedIn has some power to convince me too, that it has some power.

Adding one more. I was very skeptical about gmail until I found it being gr8. So was I on facebook until I found it is not great yet effective. So there may be a place for you and me - old nuts - in today's world of LinkedIn. But I'm sure that linkedIn > facebook. Nobody will tell you to guide his/her cow in linkedIn.

I wanna compose something on so-called-so-cial networks. Yet to connect neurons in any order.


Bimal said...

Sanesh: You make a good point about LinkedIn's referral linking system to a certain level ensuring that the guy is mostly genuine (I mean, not a 70 year old fart trying to impersonate a 21 year old supermodel). I think LinkedIn should display if the commendation is solicited or not. Wouldn't that be neat?

Dilan: Oh yeah, that Nigeria! How can I forget projects in Lagos eh? Did you know Tunde is in my FB friend list? Agree that a tool is as good as the user. Reminds me of the Pakistani bowler (whats-his-name) no balling a good 2 feet outside the crease when he could have avoided all that fuss by stepping over by a couple of inches.

Sanjay: Really? They actually hired someone through his LinkedIn profile? I must spruce up mine then. I have also heard someone losing a job opportunity because he was found to have been a member of a "Social Drinker" group in FB.

Sujeewa: Will eagerly wait for your post on social networks. In my opinion some are good for some reasons. I have found long-lost friends through FB which is great. Yes, nothing like a good interview (or even a series of interviews) to dissect a candidate. But in my experience you must spend at least 2 hours with one to really get through to the real person.

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

Recently UK appointed some famous figure as the head of secret service. Usually the appointment is a total secret. But hiw wife put it in her FB, together with some more posts about their holiday planning in europe.

And in teh end the poor fella lost the appointment even before he started it.

Bimal said...

Sujeewa: Hahaha,.. the morale of the story? never tell your wife your work-life :-)