* LinkedIn Punishes Power Users

LinkedIn can’t do basic math, thinks that 5/50 equals 5/500.

I love LinkedIn, but lately they’ve been driving me crazy.

I got this message recently when I was trying to invite a member of a group that I founded to connect with me:

*Please note:* You are now required to enter an email address to send invitations from this page because several recipients of your invitations indicated they don’t know you. This safeguard is in place to prevent users from receiving unwanted invitations from people they don’t know. You can contact Customer Service <cs@linkedin.com> if you believe this restriction is in error.

Of course I have his email address. I have the email address of everybody I invite. I have been on the Internet since 1984. I’ve been using the same contact database for the majority of this time. There are currently 11,432 contacts in my contacts database. Periodically, I import recent contacts
into LinkedIn (as LinkedIn suggests doing). Last month, I invited about 10 contacts per day to connect via LinkedIn, about 300 people. By my count, three of them have indicated that they “don’t know me.” (LinkedIn should have a “don’t remember me” option, because they wouldn’t be in my contacts database if we hadn’t previously corresponded.)

In short, why does LinkedIn put a restriction on my account when this “rejection rate” is about one percent? The acceptance rate is about eighty percent! LinkedIn’s algorithm is punishing legitimate Business Plus users like me who happen to have lots of contacts.

LinkedIn told me that they put this restriction on accounts with five rejections. Not five percent. Five. The only way to remove the restriction from my account is to undo last month’s pending invitations. Basic math: 5/50 is not the same as 5/500. LinkedIn’s algorithm should be based on percentages, not absolute numbers.

No, I won’t withdraw my pending invites, but I will consider dumping my LinkedIn premium membership if this is how premium members are treated.

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6 Replies to “* LinkedIn Punishes Power Users”

  1. Erik, I’m certainly not a power user of LinkedIn (or of anything else), but I had the same problem a few months ago. Several people I had met briefly responded with the “Don’t Know” option, and I got blacklisted. I wrote LinkedIn support and they were quick to whitelist me again.

    Bob Kraft

  2. I use the site to develop a network of trusted business relationships.

    Maybe the 5 “don’t know” limit is to protect the system from name collectors or something like that.

    But it sounds like they would be willing to help you through their policy though.

    Happy Holidays!!

  3. Had almost identical experience and thoughts. Don’t invite me to mine my vast store of contacts to build _your_ network then penalize me because my own correspondents, no small number of whom contacted me first, take the easy out and decline to “remember” me. For that matter, why aren’t I automatically connected to voluntary joiners of the two groups _I created_?!

  4. I do not actively seek new contacts on LinkedIn.com because of that restriction. (I wrote twice to LinkedIn’s customer service, but they are useless.)

    I moved my activity to Facebook and Plaxo.com. If someone wants to connect with me on LinkedIn, I will accept if I know that person.

  5. This is pretty awful. It’s you “power users” (can’t claim to be one myself) who provide the glue across the Linked network. The attractiveness of Linked is due to the number of potential contacts I’m only one or two hops away from – and it’s the well connected who provide those hops.

    Ian

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