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Why is “Dave Unknown” Trying to Social Media With Me? November 21, 2014

Posted by mwidlake in Friday Philosophy, humour, off-topic.
Tags: , ,

I know some people share my opinion on this and others totally disagree – but I fail to appreciate why people I have never met, spoken with or care about want to Social Media with me. If we have not met but there is a high probability we share unusual interests then OK, perhaps – but the fact that we both can spell Oracle or know what a gene is does not count as unusual shared interests. Maybe I am just too old to “get it” or just too grumpy to appreciate their efforts.

I’m not the biggest fan of Social Media but I don’t actively dislike it either. I mean, I’m blogging so that means I have some appreciation for it. I have a Twitter account and sometimes I Twit. But not a lot. I don’t have time or inclination to log on every day and see what people have seen that they think is funny/odd/outrageous/titillating on the web, which airport they are currently being bored in or what publication/talk/blog post of theirs they want to big up. Or what cereal they have just eaten {really? Some of you think this would interest anyone?} But occasionally I hang out there and swap twit twaddle and follow links and maybe even put up my own links to my fabulous blog utterings. But I don’t follow people I don’t in some way know or have a reason to be interested in {and I don’t include seeing them on TV as my being interested in them – I followed a couple of people on twitter early on that I thought would be interesting, based on their Popular Culture output. And very quickly decided I’d stand a better chance of continuing to like them if I was not being informed of all the dross that crossed their minds when they had not rehearsed their material}.

For me, the main Social Media thing that baffles and slightly annoys me is LinkedIn Wannabes. Why are you contacting me if I don’t know you and you don’t know me? I don’t know 7.039 billion people. OK, you know some Oracle – so do probably 0.7039 million people (wow, what a worrying thought) that I also don’t know. It’s not personal that I have no interest in being LinkedIn with you, it’s the opposite. I impersonally don’t feel a need to link with you.

Do I want to link in with Dave in Denver CO, USA who is a Java developer? I’ve nothing against you, Dave, but I’m highly unlikely to meet you and we probably have little to talk about, especially as I almost never communicate with people via LinkedIn {and I don’t know anyone who does really communicate via LinkedIn}. I struggle to keep up with people I have met in the flesh or I absolutely know I have shared interests with, so random LinkedIn Wannabes, no chance. If I met you in person I’d probably like to have a chat and I might even buy you a beer, and perhaps we would become friends and I’d welcome your LinkedIn invite with open keyboard. But frankly, until you’re drinking that Carlsberg I just got from the bar for you, you are one in 7.039 billion unknown people to me.

So am I being unfriendly? Well, when I get a LinkedIn request I almost always check out the person. Is it someone I have worked with or met at a conference and it might be nice to maintain some sort of vague contact with? Occasionally it is. Once it a blue moon it turns out to be someone I actually know (or know of) quite well and I feel daft that I did not recognise them. Sometimes it is someone I don’t know but they know 15 people I do (hopefully mostly the ones I like  🙂 ) and I can see they share strong work interests with me.  I link in. But most of the time I don’t know them and *they have over 500 contacts*. 

Over 500 contacts? Really? Really? And you know all these people? No, you don’t Dave. You are just collecting stamps. I’m as important to you as that. So now, though I know nothing much about you, I know I am unimportant to you, I’m just a stamp. I definitely do NOT want to be LinkedIn with you.

Occasionally it is worse. I’m not a stamp, I’m a little bit of potential collateral, a maybe-bit-of-income for them. The person is a recruitment consultant or a salesperson or a company representative who has figured out that for every 200 hundred people they bother they get a lead. So they contact thousands of us. Well, you can really stuff your invite up where the sun does not shine.

But most of the time it is stamp collecting. This seems very common with our South Asian friends. I don’t know why, maybe it is a cultural thing, maybe the universities there tell their students that this is a good way to progress (I can’t see that it is but I’m happy to be corrected if I am wrong), I don’t know – but 75% of LinkedIn invites I get from people with 500+ contacts are from that part of the world.

I’ve noticed one key thing about LinkedIn stamp collecting (or potential-collateral) invites – none of them have bothered to change the standard invite text.

Hi M

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinedIn

– Dave Unknown

Hint – if you really want to link with me, change the text to something, anything and I mean *anything* else. Try

Oi, Martin

I’ve met you and you smell of fish and your jokes are pathetic. Link in to me else I will throw things at you next time you present

– Dave Unknown

That’ll get my attention.

What kicked of this diatribe by me? It was when we got the below at work:linkedin_who


It really tickled me. This person is so desperately stamp collecting that they are trying to link to Admin in Technical Services. Of course I removed names to protect the guilty but, really, Ramzan “the import/export professional” – I think you should take a bit more care in your stamp collecting efforts.



1. gbalda - November 21, 2014

I’ll make sure you buy me a Carlsberg if I ever make it to UKOUG 🙂

mwidlake - November 21, 2014

UKOUG or any other conference, come and say “hi” and I’ll buy you the drink! {apart from maybe Norway – very expensive in Norway. Oh hell, I’ve got a quid or two, I’ll get you a half}. Thanks for stopping by and adding a comment.

2. Agree with @mdwidlake Rant on #LinkenIn Invitations – Yet Another OCM - November 21, 2014

[…] agree with Micheal Widlake‘s rant on Why is “Dave Unknown” Trying to Social Media With Me? on […]

3. Paul Stuart - November 22, 2014

Martin, that is an excellent Rant.

mwidlake - November 23, 2014

Well, thank you Paul.

I did not think it was that “ranty” when I wrote it but, reading it back, yeah I’m ranting. I guess I often am…

4. Jeffrey Kemp - November 23, 2014

This is why I put a message on my profile, “Please do not be offended if I don’t “connect” with you on LinkedIn straight away. My policy is to only connect with people I have met personally or worked directly with.”

5. tonysleight - November 25, 2014

Now you’ve opened the door to vengeful 500+ contact recruiment consultants to stalk you!

I’m not a social media person, I struggle with a mobile phone! I’ve tried twitter but I can never think of anything in the slightest bit interesting to say. I suppose I’m not very social! Although I do like a beer an a chat.

As for Linkedin, i have a handful of contacts and use it more like a e-mail server to keep contact.

6. Dird89 - December 11, 2014

Haha, as someone currently with 1,285 connections my opinion is obviously mixed 😀

Without using LinkedIn the first Oracle Midlands event would have probably had about 5 people turn up. I also found my current role from a recruiter cold calling me on there (it seems to be their main recruitment method now).

On the other hand I always cringe when someone I don’t know has endorsed me (ASP.NET? I’ve not even written Hello World) and was really surprised when a guy from Pakistan sent me a message asking which 10 skills I’d like him to endorse me for & if I would endorse 10 skills he listed on his in exchange…I never replied. I don’t normally accept foreign contacts who aren’t presenters or recruiters.

mwidlake - December 11, 2014

Haha – Do I know you?

Hmmm, promoting events via LinkedIn… Did your large number of contacts actually help you with that Mike or was it other aspect of social media that did the most for you, like twitter? I’m figuring you pay for the LinkedIn Premium service to allow you to message all your contacts, it’s not something I’ve tried.

And I have to confess, I did get a job many years back after an initial contact via LinkedIn. I created the account partly for such reasons, so I guess I am being a little two-faced. However, it was someone who actually read my CV and targeted me for a specific role that matched my skill, rather than the usual wide-spread-shot-gun approach most agents use of “is the word computer and program on the CV”.

Perhaps I need to do a follow on posting about why I like LinkedIn and should maybe make more connections 🙂

7. Dird89 - December 11, 2014

Well the majority of people who turned up to #1 were also LinkedIn connections (recent connections for the most part) so I guess most got the info from there rather than Twitter and then some other people got the news from Tim’s blog. Only about 250-300 of the connections get messaged (Oracle DBAs/devs).

Messaging is free but limited to batches of 50 with no counter/prompt when you exceed 50 =/

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