The most doubtful aspect of this post is either I should disclose the names or post links to profiles, however, I will not, otherwise I can become the same personality I am trying to criticize.

It was about 3 years ago when I have registered on the LinkedIN, around the same time I also opened an account on LiveJournal. The two on-line communities seemed really different at that moment, when LinkedIN was created with “making bussines” in mind, livejournal was just a blogging framework where people could make communities, create “buddy” connections and generate content about just anything.

Both of the communities have grew up to enormous account numbers and both have been slightly changing with the time. I broke up with LiveJournal almost one year ago, when one of my posts where commented by people I don’t personally know and do not respect their opinion at all. But that was not the reason, rather the last drop, the real reason was LiveJournal community of Russian speaking people (also called “Cyrillic Users” by LiveJournal devs) from all around the world which made it a kind of Russian MySpace, more oriented to blah-blah and chatting than to content generation.

Anyway the story is not about LiveJournal, but about so-called “Social Bussines Networking” on-line, and the above was just to make an analogy with what has happend to me a couple of weeks ago.

It started from a bunch of connections requests I have received within a five minutes interval one day. All the requests where originated from two names, on Neurona and LinkedIn networks, but the destination addresses where my three different e-mails. So I opened the profiles of the two, and discovered that they are from these “500+” accounts. “Ok”, I said, “that is great for them, they do their communications and stuff, may be they are in sales business or something, they may need a lot of contacts, and they may have it”, but I found that they are not sales or marketing people, instead, they have technical profiles related to the technical support, and both are consalters. It’s been a long time I am not impressed by the number of connections people make on LinkedIN and it’s been a long time I have started to reject requests just not to become one of “500+ but-do-not-know-anyone-there” members. That is my personal POV and I don’t care about others. But this time something was different, that multiple requests was really annoying. So I decided I need to know whats the heck is going on:

Dear PersonA and PersonB,

I have received from both of you invitations on both LinkedIN and Neurona.

From your profiles it is obvious that you know each other or you are the same
person and that’s why I write to both of you in the same message.

While your way of making the networking is totally fine with me (having
connections with people you don’t know, writing the same recommendations to
each other) and I don’t really care about it, instead there is something that
makes me worry, and that’s how come that your automated connection method
sends me invites to 3 different e-mail addresses???
Did we meet somewhere? How did you get these addresses?

I will be very oblige for a fast and polite reply.

Thanks and have a good networking.

That was the email message I’ve sent to both of them. After a few days of silence, I’ve sent this message using internal Neurona messaging system and I’ve got an answer from PersonB:

I’ve imported a contact of my friend and i don’t have controlled a duplicate of contact with multiple email address.
Excuses for the disturbance.

Thanks and good networking.

It was a polite answer, I am pleased. The PersonA, which actually gave away his Plaxo address book to his friend until today ignores me.

I am not going to judge these two folks, insted I want to share what I have learned from this story, or rather the moral of the story.

The social networking has become a lot of fun, but it has lost the importance as a working tool, the people using on-line communities to connect with others are often not the people you want to share anything, and often they have no respect for others. Moreover, these people often do not respect the obvious privacy rules and behave in the on-line community just as it is an anonymous chat we all know from late 90s. For me this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Though YMMV.

There is a lot of buzz nowdays around Web 2.0 and self-generated content, and the question I ask myself is about what will become with the on-line communities and for the sake of MilanIN based blog, with Social Networks? Will it be ruled by what kind of morality and community? Once we used to call WWW – Wild Wild West, because of the possibilities it created, should it be further called like this because of irresponsible and ignorant netizens?

P.S. This post obviously has an underlying message: “MilanIN is different!” 😉

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