Beware of LinkedIn!

February 13, 2011

The lesson:  If you want to invite people you know to “connect” on LinkedIn, don’t use the section that says, “Enter Email Addresses.”

This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

Recently, I uploaded the email addresses of my key professional contacts (people who were already receiving my periodic email updates) to LinkedIn so I could “connect” with those who wished to do so.  There was no indication that these invitations would be different from those I frequently receive from others.  Those invitations appear only once, and I can either accept or reject them. End of story.

Shortly after the upload, however, I received an email from a long-time professional friend who told me that he had received not one—not two—but three separate invites from me to “connect.”   I was appalled and immediately contacted LinkedIn to stop that process.

Now, I have sent an email note of apology to those who may have received the multiple messages.

If I were the CEO of LinkedIn, I would understand that business relationships must be guarded carefully and take steps to ensure that LinkedIn’s processes would be clearly defined so that my customers could proceed without worry that they might damage their valuable professional relationships.  Evidently the real CEO, Jeff Weiner, does not share my concern.