Stop Sending Generic LinkedIn Invitations!

If there is one message I loathe getting in my inbox, it’s this:


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

- Imaginary Connection

This message is so bland, I don’t know where to begin criticizing.

This text reads like it was written by a computer.  Take a second and read it out loud.  It sounds like you want to assimilate someone into your own Borg network.  I would never say this to someone out loud.  If I can’t say it out loud, then I would never, ever send it to someone I wanted to do business with.

Can you imagine sending this message to someone you want to do business with?  I can’t.  It tells them I want to work with you, but I can’t be bothered to do anything besides click mindlessly.  You don’t want to start any relationship mindlessly.

It’s not that hard to write something short with much more value. For example:


Great meeting you at XYZ Conference.  Let’s keep in touch!

- Imaginary Connection

Two sentences, ten words total.  Is it the pinnacle of creativity?  No, but this is LinkedIn, it doesn’t have to be.

Show you value the relationship.  Take a moment to write a message with real meaning.  Your business and career can thank me later.

Stop Linking All of your Social Accounts!

Would you give the exact same greeting to everyone you see in a day?  No, because that’s crazy.  You don’t want to be known as a weirdo, so you don’t say “Howdy partner!” to everyone you come across.  Unfortunately, when you start linking all of your accounts together, all of your followers and connections start looking at you like you rode so far into the sunset you fried your brain.

There was a time when I used to sync my tweets with my Facebook status.  It seemed logical because I was using Twitter as a method of updating my networks with snarky observations.  It was awesome.  My reach for each tweets was practically tripled because of my number of Facebook friends.

However, there came a point when my tweets were overwhelming my Facebook.  A lot of my Facebook friends didn’t care about the crap I retweeted.  They didn’t understand the awkward hashtags.  Worse, I had my blog posts linked to Facebook and my Twitter account, so Facebook would get hit with them twice.  Thank goodness LinkedIn statuses couldn’t be synced with tweets at that time, or I’d probably never have made a connection there.

It makes sense to want to link pages together.  It helps your connections find out everything you’re doing.  It makes it easy to publish stuff without thinking, “Did I forget to post there?”  However, there’s a point where if a person is connected to you in more than one instance, they are bombarded by your content.  People get enough content from everywhere else online, and they don’t want to be annoyed with ten instances of the same crappy article.

Another problem I run across is that these account are synced incorrectly, and I’ll see the same thing automatically reposted two or three times by the same person.  When it’s reached that level of meltdown, I don’t read your content and instead start thinking about ways to fix your accounts.

Consider your audiences.  Would you want the same people your connected with on LinkedIn reading everything you put on Facebook?  I sure as hell wouldn’t.  I don’t even connect this blog with my personal Facebook account because I don’t think my friends want to read this stuff daily.

If you have to integrate, do it so your audiences find relevant content.  Don’t just do it to make things easier.  You’re better than that, and your readers will appreciate you for it.

What Drives You Nuts?

I’ve been spending this week playing catch up with Social Media news, but most people are still talking about Facebook privacy.  I’m sick of Facebook.  There’s only so much I can cover in terms of Facebook before I start going in circles.

I want to know what’s driving you all nuts right now on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever.  What are you all seeing that makes the internet a worse place to be? What’s going to hell?  Let me know.

The Anti-Social Media on LinkedIn

Have you ever wished to read The Anti-Social Media at work, but can’t because it looks like too much fun?  Well, I have the answer to your prayers!

You can now follow The Anti-Social Media on LinkedIn!

Just think, one more way to get the same content from a completely different source.  Isn’t it great?!

What should we be talking about?

I see the same conversations over and over in the social media blogs I read.  It’s boring, it’s redundant, and it just proves no one actually reads what people put online.

Here’s what the social media savvy are talking about:

  • Personal Branding
  • Employment Branding
  • Facebook Privacy
  • Geolocation
  • ROI
  • Social Graphing
  • The iPad

There’s enough being said about personal branding to kill anyone.  Employers can figure out how they brand themselves online without having all of us tell them how to do it.  I’m over Facebook. Geolocation bores me.  If you can’t figure out how to measure ROI for your social media, you shouldn’t use social media for business.  I’m over websites trying to figure out what I want before I know what I want.  I’m sick of the iPad.

    Here’s what I think we should be talking about:

    • Online Identity
    • Anonymity vs Real Identity
    • Social Media Investment
    • Social Media Responsibility

    Let me break down what I mean by these:  With online identity, I mean the concept of who people are online and all the information associated with the name.  There is no way to control all of the information about you online, so you have little control over what identity there is online.  It’s all a crap shoot to control the top and seemingly most relevant answers

    This ties into the second point, Anonymity vs Real Identity.  As Facebook and LinkedIn add more and more users, we are slowly ditching the screen names we made up online for our real names.  While this is great for some people, I think there is a benefit to having a screen name only a select few people know.  Also, as much as we hate trolls, there are a lot of good reasons for someone to need to say something anonymously or direct certain comments about them elsewhere.

    One thing I worry about often is what I am investing in social media.  We slowly lose the human connection to one another between apps and blogs and tweets.  What do I lose sitting in front of a computer all day when I could be with my friends?  Have you ever seen a movie with a positive view of the future where everything was so connected and always on?

    Finally, I think a lot of what I worry about boils down to who is responsible for what.  Am I in charge of my tweets in five years or is Twitter?  When I post pictures on Facebook, who’s in control of those?  What information is kosher for marketers glean off of any network?  None of this is crystal clear for users, and it needs to be.

    What do you think we need to talk about?

      Why Facebook Will Never Win Online Identity, Part 1

      There are many reasons why I believe Facebook will never win the war to control your online life and identity.  Today I present the strongest reason I believe Facebook will never fully control your online identity:


      Yes, THAT LinkedIn.


      Most adults can’t take Facebook seriously.  Sure, it’s great for keeping up with the Joneses, but beyond that what is there? Awkward wall posts? Pictures of you in college no one should ever revisit? Farmville? Give me a break.

      LinkedIn provides everything it says it does, and does it very simply.  It lets you set up a profile of your professional life, and then connect with colleagues, classmates, and whoever you think can build your professional network. If you asked for more, you’d be crazy.

      Also, LinkedIn doesn’t change.  The features of your profile stay the same.  The layout stays the same.  Even the most recent change, linking to articles, is pretty much just an enhancement of the status update ability they already had.  You don’t read about LinkedIn groups rallying about the layout changes or changing the User Terms, because they don’t.

      As more and more people grow up with a Facebook profile, documenting them from middle school through adulthood, why wouldn’t they want another profile where they can remake their personal brand in a professional manner, not whatever wall posts and pictures their friends have tagged throughout the horrors of their teenage life?

      Sure, LinkedIn only has 65 million users worldwide compared to Facebooks 400+ million.  But as the digital age spreads, think how many more professionals and students will start building their profiles on there to get a job or build their network without a history of unflattering content following them.  That number will only continue to grow.

      I think LinkedIn has found a niche Facebook will have a hard time competing with.  Zuckerburg may have his online party, but the rest of us need to put a suit on in the morning.

      Am I wrong?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

      Overly Long and Sentimental #recruitcamp Wrap-Up

      I figured since I started #recruitcamp with my speech, I should end it with some of my thoughts about the various sessions and speeches I heard throughout the day.  Excuse me if this is a bit longer and a bit more boring than my usual, angrier posts, but how often do we get the chance to look behind the scenes and into the minds of people who want to hire you for your next job?

      Like it or not, recruiters are on the social web.  They all have Facebook accounts.  They all have LinkedIn profiles.  Many have Twitter accounts and blogs, and those that don’t are considering having them now.  On top of that, really smart people are making new technologies to help connect them to the insane number of job seekers out there.

      Recruiters and HR people are looking at social media and technology for several reasons, but it comes down to finding better candidates quicker.  Really, that’s all they want from social media. They want to stay ahead of the game and they think social media has the power to do that.

      Some #recruitcamp presentations addressed these issues directly.  Mike from Jobs2Web spoke on how to build a business case behind using social media to find job candidates.  The biggest takeaways from his session for me were:

      • Drive candidates to actual jobs and job content, not just your company website.
      • Be able to analyze what you set up. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea if it’s working.

      These points seem redundant to a social media maverick like myself, but they are essential.  If you are using social media in any sense of a business matter, figure out a way to measure it.  Otherwise, why do it in the first place?

      Tola Oguntoyinbo’s presentation was a bit too general for me. There were many questions and someone asked what social media blogs were good to follow to get general ideas.  She asked if Mashable was good, and when Tola recommended it I almost died.

      While, I have a known grudge against Mashable, I do believe there are some much better Social Media blogs out there that are just as reactive but take a deeper and more detailed look at issues.  One I love is Social Media Today because it features a huge number of authors speaking about the variety of ways Social Media is used.  It’s not as hip as Mashable, but it aggregates a lot of really good content.  Also, Social Media Examiner posts some amazing articles and videos that break down social media studies and uses that can be applied to a variety of different fields.

      Another question from that session that I know went unanswered was if someone had B2B social media campaign examples.  I still don’t have any, but I bet you can find a bunch at Social Media B2B.

      I loved Laurie Ruettimann’s keynote.  It took a very different tone, analyzing the state of the work force and what recruiters and HR professionals should be talking about.  Her main point: The system is broken, and social recruiting isn’t going to change a broken system.  It was completely different, and absolutely Laurie.

      Honestly, I was lost by the sessions immediately after Laurie.  But, they did give me a free cookie, and I can’t forget that.

      A personal highlight was meeting Jennifer McClure, aka CincyRecruiter.  I started following Jennifer on Twitter long ago when I was looking for my very first full time job.  She’s wonderfully down to earth, and a master of the nuances and intricacies of personal branding. My favorite quote from her session: “There is no ‘and’ in personal brand.  You can only be one thing.”  True to this statement, I’ve embraced my role as The Anti-Social Media guy, and will start letting my other roles take the backseat.

      Overall, I’m glad I spoke, and I am glad I was given the chance to learn so much.  The world is changing faster than ever, and people are using all of the social media tools in more exciting and creative ways.

      Anyways, I’ll be back to my normal, curmudgeonly self next week, and I promise I will start taking on more aspects of what Facebook announced at f8 (hint, I don’t like it).  Also, if you’ve been waiting for me to say something about LinkedIn, I may finally have something for you to read.

      Why Anti-Social Media?

      You can’t avoid social media.

      It’s everywhere.  It started with those awful jokes your cousins would forward to you and now you know everything about people you long forgot who crawled back into your life.

      This blog is intended for the people who don’t give a damn about social media, those who’d cut off their right thumb before giving up tweeting, those who’d cut off the right thumb of the person tweeting, and the countless masses caught somewhere in the middle of this Bermuda triangle of the internet.

      I’m here to remind you that sometimes you need to get off the internet to make real things happen.  Just because something is posted on Facebook doesn’t make it Facebook official, and your LinkedIn connections will treat you better if you give them a call or two.  Don’t get me started on trying to follow the so called Social Media Guide .

      Welcome to the jaded view of the internet.  Remember, some things just aren’t worth sharing.