Getting LinkedIn to stop spamming you

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I made a conscious decision to quit LinkedIn – details here:

Yet, they keep spamming me:

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It seems (can someone verify this?) that these invitations originate from LinkedIn’s Outlook Plugin that some of my former contacts are using. That’s kinda wrong already, given that the EMail comes from LinkedIn, not from my contact (i.e. contacts tell LinkedIn to EMail me, which they do without my consent.). I don’t think that’s ok from a data privacy perspective. It might be a different thing legally if the plugin just generated an email that my contacts could send, but it would still be just as annoying.

Where I draw the line is the reminders: in order to do that LinkedIn has to a) store my data and b) keep emailing me without my consent. The email does contain an “unsubscribe” (…) link which implies I opted in to receiving the emails. Let’s see if that works.

Today I also found a (well hidden) form to put yourself on LinkedIn’s “Do Not Contact List”. I did that – reluctantly – it’s ironic that I have to allow them to store my data in order to prevent them spamming me.

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If you have me in your contact list and you’re using LinkedIn, please try to add me to your contacts. Let’s see how good their “privacy” mechanisms really work…

Bye bye LinkedIn, thanks for nothing.

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Every time I get one of these “Unknown spammer xxx’s invitation is waiting for your response I’m thinking “I should really delete my account there”. Then life goes on, and you add another few people that you actually do know.

And then this: LinkedIn sued by users who say it hacked their e-mail accounts

Today I saw a tweet pointing to the new user agreement, and that may just be too much :

“Additionally, you grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including, but not limited to, any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques and/or data to the services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties.”

I don’t think I do.

Account deleted.

Service link: this is how you do it

2013-10-24: More proof that LinkedIn will do ANYTHING to get at your data:

Facebook is giving stalkers a heart attack

Facebook is slowly rolling out a new feature which lets you see your search history, as Gizmode reports.

While that information is only available to yourself right now and can be deleted, I can already see the next steps of Zuck’s make-the-analysts-happy-strategy: pay to become a premium user and we’ll let you see who watched your stuff (not a new thing, that’s exactly what LinkedIn’s german competitor XING does…).

Wanna take a bet..? OK, time for fake FB accounts for stalkers now ;)

Change your LinkedIn password. NOW!

Oh well, another breach: According to, 6.5 Million LinkedIn password hashes have been posted to a russian web site. The Next Web also has a report.

You might also want to change passwords on the other sites where you’re using the same password. While you’re at it, consider moving to something like LastPass, which allows you to painlessly manage 16 character passwords like “dF*^B@@uBqK&VXt9” for a site. I recommend getting the YubiKey package which adds additional security.

I’m getting tired of LinkedIn anyway, so I’m going to delete my account. They’re not adding ANY value over other social networks for me and have been constantly spamming me:

They keep trying to sell me on their premium services, which I have no interest in.

They constantly try to get me to get into their ‘groups’, which will just increase SPAM.

Plus they’ll not only let just about anyone contact me, they have the guts to remind me that I haven’t added that person I don’t even know!

And that after having to admit that they’ll store all the data they can get from me through their iOS app.

Time to go.

Social Network XING adds validated skills cloud

While I do regularly accept my LinkedIn invitations, I can’t say that I get a lot out of being a member there. In contrast to that, I have been a paying Premium member (~ 5 EUR/month) of the german founded social Network XING for about 6 years now.

What I like about XING is the well structured UI, and the focus on being able to see changes in your network. XING gives me a start page that will show me

  • which of my contacts has changed something in their profile
  • which of my contacts has added someone to their network
  • who has visited my profile page(!), as well as where they came from (search, click on forum post etc.)

All this is information that keeps me going back to the site daily, and makes sure I get back to contacts now and when. There are also searches like “contacts that have changed jobs in the last month”.

XING keeps adding features, like dopplr or Twitter integration, regularly. The latest one is a cloud of skills that you can enter, add a detailed experience level, and then ask your contacts to confirm them. This is basically a living breathing CV with references and confirmed (!) skills.

I have started to play with that yesterday, and I like it quite a bit. The confirmations are way less awkward to request than official references, and they also point specifically to a certain skill. By looking at who confirmed that skill and what their job is, you might find an extra bit of credibility (having a customer confirming a skill vs. a colleague).

Here are some observations I have, as well as room for improvement:

  • getting to the skill confirmations takes too many clicks – I wouls like a “confirm/reject” button directly in my contacts activities list
  • right now you can only have your skills confirmed by sending out requests. I would like to be able to give unsolicited feedback to skills that my contacts enter
  • I think the skills cloud is so important and says so much about who you are professionally that it should be on top of your profile page if you use it, not hidden under “applications”
  • the skills cloud/list should also show the number of confirmations in the cloud, clicking on it should send you to the lisz of people who confirmed it
  • I would like to be able to upgrade a skill. If I have gotten better at something, I’d like to be able my proficiency there.

Since my requests went out, just about everyone who answered has also added the application and started sending out requests. I think XING has another winner here that might go viral.

Facebook – MetaSocial Software

Last weekend, I started importing my Outlook contacts into LinkedIn and Facebook. My premier social software so far is XING, which has proven to deliver the best value for money. It is also the only portal that will let me see who looked at my profile.

Anyway, there are many friends who use LinkedIn, and Facebook is getting a lot more popular every day. I also use Twitter and Dopplr. Add, Flickr, plazer, and you have quite a lot of Web 2.0 apps to care for.

They all carry similar information:

  • My own contact and profile information
  • A list of people I know
  • Status updates (what do I do, where do I go)
  • and much more.

They all deliver information about my contacts back. Some do have RSS feeds, others require me to go to the web page. Managing all apps, let alone keeping them in sync, is next to impossible.

It would be nice to keep the stuff that’s identical (profile, list of friends) in one central place and synchronise it to the others. Unfortunately not all apps offer an API, they prefer to keep your data in a silo. After all, that’s part of their market value.

Recently, Facebook seems to have taken a similar approach. First they integrated Twitter, now What will be next? I don’t know, but it seems they will definitely add others. That’s a very smart move.

Can’t wait to see what the response of the competition will look like. Still, it’s “pick your silo”. I’d much prefer having a social master data app that *I* can control, something like CardSpace on steroids.

Interesting times.