Meanwhile inside the headquarters of LinkedIn…

LinkedIn Marketing Executive Enters the Room…

“Hey everyone! As you know, we are a rapidly growing professional social network. Our goal today is to see what we can come up with to motivate our users into giving us even more unpaid promotion. Alright team, Who has ideas?”

Marketing Team Member #1: “We could come up with a really awful version of Klout’s +K and call it Endorsements. People could compete to be most endorsed in different areas of business that they are “Self Proclaiming” to be areas of expertise.

LinkedIn Executive: “Um, we did that already.”

Marketing Team Member #1: Oh, I haven’t logged in to my account in a while, I guess I missed that.

LinkedIn Executive: “Ok, what else do we have?”

Marketing Team Member #2: “We could analyze every profile and send an email to the top 20% of viewed profiles letting them know that they are officially a big deal on our site.”

LinkedIn Executive: “I like it, tell me more.”

Marketing Team Member #2: “We can break it into groups by the top 20, 10, 5 and 1 percent of viewed profiles and we will set up sharing buttons for Twitter and Facebook. This way people can easily share that they are important on LinkedIn with the networks that people actually visit every day.”

LinkedIn Executive: Brilliant (Shouted like the Guiness beer commercial). Exclusivity works every time! Plus, this should ruin, I mean fill peoples streams all day with posts about LinkedIn. Heck, we may even get a few cynical bloggers to write about this. Let’s do it!

(Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way it happened, but in case you didn’t catch that…)

And I Digress

Earlier this week you may have received this email. It looked like the picture below.

LinkedIn

And I admit it, when I first saw it I was kind of flattered. Until I viewed my streams and noticed that everyone I knew received this.

Then I realized that this was nothing more than a big social network gamifying its most loyal users into virally spreading its non-sense because people love to self-promote on social platforms.

If you shared it, I’m not judging. Like I said, I was momentarily flattered as well.

But I hope that you realize that this ploy was not about you, it was all about them. And it worked.

So thank you LinkedIn for once again taking your network which is great for keeping track of professional contacts and searching for jobs, sales or networking opportunities, and cheapening it down by turning it into a popularity contest.

If I were you I’d just stick to doing what you do well…but nonetheless I won’t argue with your success.

Anyhow, I’ll log back in tomorrow, because that is what I do (as does so many others). But it doesn’t mean I don’t think your watering down a good product.

Can’t wait to see what you guys crap out next…ehem, I mean come out with next.

Here is my next post -> LinkedIn: Good for you. I won’t hate the player, I’ll just hate the game.