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Linked In Or Out? 474

Posted by timothy
from the won't-you-be-my-neighbor-today dept.
Mr_Whoopass writes "I am the IT Administrator for a regional restaurant chain, and as of late I am noticing more and more people sending me invitations to sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc. Mother always taught me to be a skeptic, and, knowing more than the average Joe about how information can be used in this digital era, I am reticent to say the least about posting such personal details as my full name and where I work on the net for all to see. I have thus far managed to stay completely below the radar, and a search on Google has nothing on my real persona. However, now times are tough, and I see sales dropping in the industry I work in as it is a discretionary spending market to be sure. I wonder if I should loosen up on the paranoia a bit and start networking with some of these folks in case of the all too common layoff scenario that seems to be happening lately. What do other folks here think about this? I am specifically interested in what people who work in IT think (since I know that just about every moron who has 'Vice President' or sits on the 'Executive Team' is already on LinkedIn and has no clue about why they should be trying to protect their identity)."
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Linked In Or Out?

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  • by hugetoon (766694) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:31PM (#26951447)
    What's your real name allready?
  • by tsa (15680) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:34PM (#26951475) Homepage

    I know many people for whom LinkedIn was important in getting a new job. Not only can people see what you have done, but more importantly, LinkedIn shows potential employers who you know, which is valuable information to them. They can choose you above someone else because of the people they know, and will be incorporated in the company's network by hiring you.

    • by tsa (15680) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:39PM (#26951509) Homepage

      Oops I should have used the preview button. What I wanted to say was: LinkedIn shows to potential employers the professionals you know, which is valuable information to them. They can choose you above someone else because of the people you know, and will be incorporated in the company's network by hiring you.

      • by schon (31600) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:17PM (#26951827)

        LinkedIn shows to potential employers the professionals you know, which is valuable information to them.

        Why? What specifically is valuable about people who know me? How does who I know affect how well I can do my job?

        They can choose you above someone else because of the people you know, and will be incorporated in the company's network by hiring you.

        Again, how exactly does who I know affect how competent I am at my job?

        And if the answer is "it doesn't, but they might want to know anyway" - why isn't it possible that they might decide *not* to hire me, based on the people I know?

        • by Swizec (978239) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:27PM (#26951915) Homepage
          Clients and crowdsourcing.

          The more and better people you know, the more clients you can potentially reel in and, of course, the more people from your field you know, the quicker you'll find someone who can help you out of a snag.

          In short, they're counting on the idea that hiring you they're implicitly also hiring all of your professional contacts - completely for free.
        • by nabsltd (1313397) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:28PM (#26951917)

          For example, I am first-level connected to several people who have written a moderately well-known RFC. I have more direct access to them than the average person, and I can pick their brain for free.

          If I was hunting for a job in that particular field, then my connections might help, especially if the people doing the hiring know those names (even if they don't know the people personally).

          On the other hand, I can't see a reason why somebody would not hire me just because I know somebody. For example, I have first-level connections to people that I have done business with (provided them consulting, etc.), but I'm not drinking buddies with (i.e., I don't know everything about them). Now, it's possible that those people are real slime except when dealing with me, but even if they are, it doesn't mean anything...I didn't say I recommended them, just that I know them.

        • by Kneo24 (688412) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:32PM (#26951951) Homepage

          Your questions are really simple to answer.

          A lot of the companies I've worked for think of themselves as one big family. Because of that, they will hire people other employees know so that there's less of a chance of in fighting and more of a chance of teamwork. It helps to keep the big happy family image.

          They will even consider hiring the friends of their worst employees. Don't ask me why, but they do.

          There is that off chance that who you know could hurt you, but that's probably small. Just don't keep friends or contacts who are total dick bags and it shouldn't bite you in the ass.

          • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:37PM (#26952003)

            I thought affirmative action was supposed to kill that. Or perhaps I just dreamed that. That is perhaps the worst way to manage a company. People should be able to work together, but blurring the lines between work and not work is really dangerous.

            When lay offs come or somebody needs to be let go. Chummy coworkers that are a bit too comfortable with each other. There are any number of ways in which that can blow up and damage the company's productivity.

            • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Monday February 23, 2009 @12:30PM (#26958403) Homepage Journal

              That's the whole point of LinkedIn, it's supposed to be work-related and have nothing to do with your non-professional life. You could look at it like just another social network but it's not setup to be like that. You can't post a bunch of pictures of what you did this weekend and get people's inane comments on them.

              When it comes to 'chummy co-workers', I'm going to go out on a limb and say a vast majority of companies probably prefer co-workers that get along and are comfortable with each other because it leads to effective communication. Sure, relationships can go sour and outside influences can mess with that but in many cases you see the people you work with more hours per day than your spouse. Most reasonable people can see that and put small issues aside that would otherwise taint a non-professional relationship.

              What I'm trying to get at here is that friendly is better than hostile 100% of the time and these tools like LinkedIn that get us just a little bit closer to each other are a good thing when used properly. I'm venturing to guess there is a very tiny fraction of the time that this information available online can be used for bad intentions. But hey, so can a phonebook.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PPH (736903)

            A lot of the companies I've worked for think of themselves as one big family.

            Well, I'm outa there. The 'big happy family' meme is code for the bosses idiot nephew or doper son-in-law needs to be looked after. Sorry, but I owe an employer a professional relationship and that's all they owe me. Part of that is to treat people with respect and not to pick fights.

            more of a chance of teamwork.

            Teamwork is OK, but its not a part of being a big happy family. Not many families cut bad members or send them down to the minor leagues.

        • by Cowmonaut (989226) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:38PM (#26952005)

          Why? What specifically is valuable about people who know me? How does who I know affect how well I can do my job?

          Do you have soft skills? Do you have to work with other companies or service providers on a regular basis? It largely depends on what your company does, but there are a LOT of reasons why knowing people in a field is an advantage, and having someone you can work with to establish a relationship or you know has worked with someone (possibly difficult) before is an advantage.

          Again, how exactly does who I know affect how competent I am at my job?

          I suggest you talk to someone who makes a living getting people hired. Its about marketing your self. You could be the Stephen Hawking of computer programming but it means jack if you know no one and only have some very limited references.

          Really, LinkedIn is a tool to use to your advantage if you need to. A very useful and underestimated tool. The advantages are fairly obvious and the drawbacks negligible. If you can't reason that out then again I suggest you speak with a career services professional to find out (provided you need to).

          And if the answer is "it doesn't, but they might want to know anyway" - why isn't it possible that they might decide *not* to hire me, based on the people I know?

          And that kind of arguing is called "self defeating". The vast majority of people will hire you despite who you know rather than not. If they think someone is a tool that's their problem. You don't have to let that become an issue. But if you are a medium sized business, knowing people is power.

        • by Captain Hook (923766) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:55PM (#26952169)

          Why? What specifically is valuable about people who know me? How does who I know affect how well I can do my job?

          Coming from an IT background, we view work as something which we can personally accomplish. It's what we know and how we apply it which is important.

          But there are many roles, especially high up the corporate ladder, where it's who you know which becomes important not what you know. Maybe IT guys aren't really the main market for Linked In.

          • by Americano (920576) on Monday February 23, 2009 @01:51PM (#26959395)

            Coming from an IT background, we view work as something which we can personally accomplish. It's what we know and how we apply it which is important.

            And frankly, that view of work as something which "we can personally accomplish" is outdated and does not scale in any company larger than a hundred or so people, maybe even less. There is virtually NO job description in IT at any company above a certain size which will not require you to be able to work with other people.

            Let's please dispense with the ridiculous illusion that IT people don't have to have social skills to do their job effectively. That's a comforting conceit for those in IT who are socially inept, but it is not the reality. You do not have to be best friends with everybody you work with. You DO have to be able to communicate and interact with others in a professional manner.Maybe you're the only email server admin or domain admin guy, but then you've got dozens or hundreds or thousands of customers you've got to work with. Maybe you're a developer; chances are you have to work with dba's and technical writers and other developers and business folks.

            Having a network on LinkedIn does not necessarily mean you are socially adept, but it is a bit of circumstantial evidence that at least a few people could handle working with your ass and didn't despise the experience enough to want nothing to do with you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by datababe72 (244918)

          I've never decided to hire someone just by looking at who they know.

          BUT, I have looked to see if I know anyone they know, so that I can get an informal recommendation. The more senior the position, the more I want to hear about a candidate from people I trust who have worked with that candidate. Those positions require skills that are hard to really check for on a resume.

          Also, when I applied for the job I hold right now, I did so via a connection I unearthed on LinkedIn- I saw the job posting, decided I wan

  • by salesgeek (263995) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:34PM (#26951479) Homepage

    The whole social network phenomenon is a lot like the lottery:

    * You can't win if you don't play.
    * You can't loose if you don't play.

    The price of admission to the social network game is:

    * Loss of privacy.
    * You may meet new people. Some may be good and others may be bad.
    * Get a new free email account because harvesting emails out of social networks is the new hotness for small time spamtrepreneurs.

    It's a lot like real life. The more friends you have the less private life is, and the more people want you to sign up for their MLM.

    • ^^ Comment of the month.
    • by liquidpele (663430) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:48PM (#26951589) Journal
      To add to that, LinkedIn is about the only real site worth doing for your career. Facebook, mysapce, and others are more social and likely to hurt more than they help.
      • by poena.dare (306891) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:26PM (#26951903)

        I chose LinkedIn to be my employment oriented networking site because nobody there cares what half-assed band you like.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BridgeBum (11413)

        I actually only recently got a Facebook account, and it was 100% due to work. My company is using Facebook to share things like pictures, videos, etc. (non-proprietary) with the employees.

        Just one anecdotal comment of course, but just trying to point out that Facebook is becoming more than just social networking.

        Full disclosure: I've been on LinkedIn for a while, it's only Facebook that is new to me. I have never been on myspace.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @08:51PM (#26953057)

        I think there are some fundamental differences between LinkedIn and the likes of Facebook, which is why I'm happy to be listed on the one but not the others.

        In particular, LinkedIn has access only to professional information about me that I would typically share with a prospective client/employer anyway, and it only collects that information from me personally apart from the basic networking information that is the whole point (and is only collected/reliable with my confirmation anyway).

        Facebook, in sharp contrast, got almost no information from me personally when I briefly signed up, yet practically had my whole life story within a couple of days because their entire MO is to get friends to volunteer information about each other. Moreover, the information that Facebook attempts to collect is often very personal and certainly not the sort of thing I would voluntarily share on-line.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jtogel (840879)
        I respectfully disagree. As an academic, I use Facebook as my main professional networking tool. This is for the simple reason that people actually check their FB accounts on a daily basis, whereas nobody ever logs in to Linkedin except to accept or decline a new connection request.
    • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:52PM (#26951623)

      Yeah, but most of these "friends" aren't real. It's like facebook where you can have 100s of so-called friends but none of them would actually do anything for you. What use is that? It's like the late-90s/early-00s internet bubble, where instead of companies trying to grow marketshare but having no viable business plan, you have people trying to be popular but with real viable end goal for it all.

      Social networking to meet new people is great, but as far as networking goes, the more people that are in it, the less each individual is worth. I would think you're almost better using social media to meet new people, but having fewer but true friends and some contacts around the industry that know your potential value to a business from real contact rather than just another face online hyping him/herself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        Yeah, but most of these "friends" aren't real. It's like facebook where you can have 100s of so-called friends but none of them would actually do anything for you. What use is that?

        I think that speaks more to the quality of your Facebook friends (or your perception of Facebook friends) than anything else.
        I would be perfectly comfortable asking favors of almost anyone I have as a Facebook friend.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pgaffney (247103)

        This is just not true. I'm actively using social networking and local bbs's to get me + wife into the local social scene. We're both from out of town and we've moved to a place with very small tight groups of friends who have typically grown up together and are a little nervous about outsiders. It's not a good environment for walking up to people in bars and introducing yourself, but these sites allow you to start goofing around with people anonymously, which then makes them more interested and curious a

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sax Maniac (88550)

        "As far as networking goes, the more people that are in it, the less each individual is worth."

        I think you've just defined a new corollary to Metcalf's Law.

    • by dintlu (1171159) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:52PM (#26951629)

      As sites like LinkedIn grow in popularity, and as users learn to game the system to their advantage, I expect that the value of such services for hiring decisions will be diminished to the point where actual word of mouth matters as much as it did before the existence of the service.

      • I agree with you 100%. I have avoided Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. like the plague for various reasons, one being that in the long run I don't think it will actually do me any good. I get jobs effortlessly enough as it is ;)

    • by mh1997 (1065630) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:15PM (#26951817)

      * You can't loose if you don't play.

      What can't you loosen if you don't play? I can see a scenario where you can't lose if you don't play.

      For what it's worth, I've never hired a person because of a facebook profile, but I have not hired plenty of people because of facebook profiles.

      • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:27PM (#26951913)

        For what it's worth, I've never hired a person because of a facebook profile, but I have not hired plenty of people because of facebook profiles.

        Contrary to what you seem to think, the employer/employee relationship goes both ways, and finding and keeping good employees is just as important for you as finding a good job is for them.

        So, if you decide based on my Facebook page that we aren't going to get along, it's better for both of us to find that out before you hire me.

        On the other hand, if you don't have a decent and convincing online presence yourself, I may not even consider you, and you'll never know.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aaarrrgggh (9205)

          While there is truth in what you are saying, control constantly shifts between employe[e/r] in the game. For small companies, you will never be able to out-shine the "big guys". That doesn't make the pay or opportunity less, but it changes the advertising dynamics.

          As for facebook profiles, it is hard to look at a potential candidate puking up a lung and take them serious. When you hire someone, it is hard to weigh sources of information, given the limited and controlled environment of an interview.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          LOL!

          I love your type, putting on airs and strutting around saying that you wouldn't work for me because you feel my online presence is inadequate.

          I have the money that you want. Dance Monkey Boy, dance!

          You can say that you weren't forced and you can convince yourself that you really wanted to dance, on your own time.

          Bitch! Thy name is Owned!

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by xilmaril (573709)

            dur... I'm an engineer. I have an education that will give me a decent rate of pay compared to my neighbours almost anywhere on the planet. so, like all skilled professionals, I can be a little choosier...

            I know you're just a troll, but I had to throw that out there, because I've actually turned down an employer once word got out among my alumni that they were doing this. not hiring someone because they have drunk photos of themselves on facebook implies all kinds of moral hypocrisy, because odds are you ge

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by oliphaunt (124016)

          It's not so much a question of whether we'll get along as it is a question of whether you'll embarrass me in front of a client. You taking bong hits in a FB pic implies that you have questionable judgment and you don't care who knows it.

          Not saying that i've seen that pic of you. Just a for-example.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kneo24 (688412)

        And here comes the trolls screaming and yelling, "BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WASNT A FAKE PROFILE DONE IN MALICE???????/!!!!11111aoneoneoneololoowerhowweor" And I'm sure you'll be respond with, "they seemed shady during the interview, I just wanted to do a further check." or something to that extent.

      • by svunt (916464) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @10:53PM (#26953841) Homepage Journal
        I've turned down jobs because of the employer's or my new superior's facebook profile. A few months back Irefused a job after seeing the CEO was in groups like:
        "If you don't love the Australian flag then GET THE FUCK OUT"
        "I love Bundaberg Rum"
        "I tried to watch Transformers and all I saw was Megan Fox"
        I'm an open-minded, relatively intelligent guy, and despite the nearly 20% salary increase the job was worth, not a chance. So yeah, facebook works both ways.
    • Get over it... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:18PM (#26951835) Homepage
      As a kid I was always told not to give my real name and address online because there could be pedophiles... :)

      * Loss of privacy.

      Yes, but in general you shouldn't share information on facebook, twitter, you blog, website or anywhere else online that you don't want everybody else in the world to know about you.
      That's as simple as it gets... Now really is your full name something you don't want to share with everybody else?
      Also it's okay to be critical about what pictures you accept being associated to on facebook... And it's okay to censor your blog for comments you don't want people posting on it...
      Personally, I've linked my slashdot account to my website, on which my name, address, email and phone number can be found. And so to the extent possible I try to only post stuff that I'd stand by (yes, sometimes I'll stand by for some bad comments too :))...
      And if I absolutely must say something I don't want put my name on, then I'll consider if I really ought to post it anyway, and I must AC is always an option.

      It's a lot like real life.

      It that a metaphor people on slashdot understand? How about a car analogy.
      (Sorry, couldn't help but wondering :) )

  • Degree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:35PM (#26951485)

    The only site I use is LinkedIn, because it is a good way to keep a thin attachment to people who are just contacts, but people I don't want to loose touch with entirely. That to me is far different than telling people misc details about my life that I consider to be private.

    • Re:Degree (Score:5, Funny)

      by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:04PM (#26951727)

      LinkedIn is great because Kevin Bacon is on it and you can see how many degrees removed from him you are. He has "500+ connections" on LinkedIn. I'm only 3 degrees away myself and I'm not even in the entertainment industry.

    • Re:Degree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PPH (736903) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:09PM (#26951773)

      That's a good point. And it brings up another aspect of these web communities: Companies hire people for both what they know and who they know. The latter is often exploited by marginally ompetent people looking to latch onto someone else's coattails.

      I'm already known in my professional community. So there are a lot of people trying to find details about me, like my wife's/kids'/dog's names so that they can go into an interview and BS people into thinking that we're the best of buddies.

      As an employer, I don't place much weight on these sorts of resources because they are easily manipuated. And as an employee I wouldn't want to work for an outfit that placed too much emphasis on social networks. Its an engineering firm, not a frat house.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by turbotroll (1378271)

      The only site I use is LinkedIn, because it is a good way to keep a thin attachment to people who are just contacts, but people I don't want to loose touch with entirely. That to me is far different than telling people misc details about my life that I consider to be private.

      I share your opinion. Although I am very negative towards the very idea of social networking as such, I still find LinkedIn to be acceptable because it is professionally oriented (unlike Facebook and others). I primarily use it as a job seeking tool and use to receive some offers from time to time.

    • Re:Degree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:22PM (#26951863)

      because it is a good way to keep a thin attachment to people who are just contacts, but people I don't want to loose touch with entirely.

      That's one of the best reasons to be on it. I started using LinkedIn (free, not paying!) to get in touch with old colleagues; that's it, nothing more. Recommendations and invitations are for only people I absolutely know (I reject any others out of hand.)

      For any social networking sites, it's the Thermodynamics of Humanity--crap and chaos will increase. AOL, Yahoo Message boards (social, financial, etc.), the garbage always builds up.

      On that note, are only a few places I still follow that have stayed "fairly" clean. Joke as much as you want, but Slashdot has stayed pretty close to mission over the years. Groklaw [groklaw.net] is still pretty good. Motley Fool [fool.com] is still fairly new, but has hung on to it's central theme for a couple of years now.

      Think of social networking sites like sex, or dating: Before you sign up, imagine that some Glenn Close nutjob is going to hunt you down and kill your pets, or some pimply teenager is going to show up on your door step 16 years from now at the family reunion shouting, "Dad! Mama tol' me you owed us for that fling all those years ago!"

      If those kinds of problems are foreseeable, don't use the sites.

  • no offense.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:40PM (#26951513)

    ...but I am surprised you are an IT admin and unaware of how both social and professional networking websites actually work. About the only thing strangers can see is your name.

    Why are you afraid to put honest professional information out there? Nothing says you have to post everything about you. My profiles on social websites is very controlled and only portrays what I want. The basic rule, for me, is to keep my professional and business aspects of my life separate.

    Lastly, I use my name for professional networking and a variation of my name for social. So, if a potential client e-stalks me with "Ruthered B. Hayes" they will never get the social sites I have under "R. Brenticus Hayes"

    Bottom line, you control your image, be careful with it, but do not be afraid.

  • by Toe, The (545098) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:40PM (#26951519)

    I love this stuff... It is all optional. There is no requirement to do it. Oh, but if you don't opt in, your life will suck.

    My favorite is medical privacy forms:
    I, James T Victim, hereby give my consent to Dr. Scrupulous to share every facet of my every bodily function, my entire medical history (including incriminating stuff I have to reveal for medical purposes), and my entire credit record to whomever may request it for whatever reason. I understand that I can refuse to allow this sharing, but then the doctor may deny me medical care and I will likely die a horrible, painful death.

  • It propably won't.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by monse53 (1484197) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:42PM (#26951537)
    I was signed in to LinkedIn for a couple of years, and never had a single job offer (I'm MSc i Computer Science and have never been unemployed, just for the record). Neither have I heard of anyone else who has had any benefit from it. So it propably won't pay off. Or - has anyone got a job through LinkedIn?
    • *ASKED* for one? ;-)

      If anything, the fact that you do not get unsolicited job offers from random LinkedIn users speaks good about their "lets' be a bit more careful whom we show your real e-mail" attitude.

      Paul B.

    • by dave562 (969951) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:05PM (#26951745) Journal
      I just joined LinkedIn because of a job prospect that came up. Our phone system vendor wants me to design some Crystal Reports for them. She has a profile on there and has over 200 contacts. She is big on networking, online or otherwise. It's only a matter of time before I'm "Crystal Reports guy" in her social network. Like the OP, I generally try to stay away from Myspace, Facebook and the like. I made the exception in this case because someone who is offering me work told me that I could find even more work if I create a profile on there. My perspective on it at this point is that it can't hurt and it might help.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dragonshed (206590)

      People don't hand out job offers, on or off LinkedIn. What may happen is recruiters may attempt to contact you if your profile is desirable.

      I've had dozens of recruiters mail me through linked in over the last couple years, atleast one every couple of weeks. But that is missing the point. I'm less interested in making the recruiter's job easier and more interested in watching where my colleagues and former colleagues find new employment. *This* is the tool that is most interesting about linked in, trave

  • by cyriustek (851451) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:48PM (#26951585)

    Social networking sites can be one avenue in which you lose your privacy. However, there is another side to this coin. Namely, do you want to be able to make your identity online, or do you want others to determine your identity?

    By using LinkedIN, Facebook and others, you can craft a very professional image that is put forth. In kind, you can be selective as to who you allow as a 'friend' or 'contact.' Therefor, your professional image retains intact.

    Obviously you want to avoid posting pictures of you doing your last beer bong, or wearing a lampshade on your head, whilst posting white papers, and pictures of you presenting at conferences.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Samschnooks (1415697)

      ...or do you want others to determine your identity?

      I am a very private person and I do not share much information about myself. Anyway, one day, I showed up at a function with a girlfriend. Folks were a bit surprised because they all thought I was gay. Talk about folks determining your identity! I have also been accused of being an alcoholic because I do not like to talk about what I do between jobs.

      I don't think a person should blab every minute detail about their life, but it is important to share a few things about yourself otherwise folks assume the w

  • while FaceBook is more general. However, before you sign up with FaceBook, read their Terms of Use. It is pretty Draconian:

    "By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute
  • by auric_dude (610172) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:49PM (#26951601)
    I don't want to linked into to any club that will have me as a member.
  • They are everywhere and all out to get you!
  • by mbstone (457308) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:51PM (#26951619)

    Privacy Is Dead, Get Over It [youtube.com] with Steve Rambam: This is the first part of Rambam's essential lecture, presented in five-minute snippets. It's like a good book that you don't want to put down, you'll keep viewing the snippets (or search for the entire lecture if you have time to view it all at once). Nobody who uses LinkedIn or any other of what Rambam calls "self-contributed data sites" should miss this.

  • Most VP's and other executives could care less about their own privacy -- any successful executive doesn't really have much in the first place. Remember, a lot of these people are actually forced to divulge their own pay structures as a part of being a public company. So for them to throw their details into such networking sites doesn't actually cost them anything -- it's just another phone book.

    On the other side of the coin, you shouldn't allow these difficult sales times to influence your decision of th

  • You seem to worry much about losing your privacy. Most social networking sites have rather extensive privacy settings, so you get to select in detail what should be revealed and to whom.

    The problem of course then is that managing these privacy settings can be quite tricky, if you don't have a clear picture of what knobs you have available to turn.

    Here is a rather recent and extensive walk-through of the most central privacy settings Facebook offers:

    http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/02/facebook-privacy/ [allfacebook.com]

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:53PM (#26951643)

    Wait... so you're afraid to post your resume online?

    Who cares what your name is and where you work? The Yellow Pages are more invasive. They give your home address and name.

    When you meet someone at an informal function do you keep you name and place of employment secret as well? Just what exactly are you afraid someone would do with this information?

    When you send out a resume do you just list "'Company A', 'Company B', and 'Company C'" on your empoyment history? Or do you write it out and then black it all out with a marker like a top secret intelligence report?

    Stop waffling and start getting noticed online. I've gotten numerous job interviews that I didn't even apply for because people were reading forums and thought I sounded competant and knowledgable. In fact so far I've never needed to even apply for a job.

    If the only people who know about you work in your server room that's as far as your reputation extends. If they google your name which would you rather them find: Nothing or an insightful blog on proper network security procedures and a list of glowing praise from your superiors and coworkers?

    You are your name. That's your brand. Sell it! Make it famous!

  • since I know that just about every moron that has 'Vice President' or sits on the 'Executive Team' is already on LinkedIn and has no clue about why they should be trying to protect their identity

    Here's a question to you Mr_Whoopass, why should they be trying to protect their identity, and by that I mean what you mean, which is making sure no one knows that someone named like you works at the place you work. It sounds as if we were talking about dangers that everyone is aware of to the point it's not neces

  • As an IT Administrator, your users are going to be increasingly using such things as Facebook, Myspace, Gmail, Linked-In etc. Can you afford to be left behind and not know what is going on in your environments? You'd be stupid to think you could.

  • job potential (Score:3, Informative)

    by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore@@@gmail...com> on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:05PM (#26951743) Homepage Journal

    Most jobs are found through networking and friends. Only the worst, lowes-end jobs are in the paper. That's plain fact. I've started over a few times, and I'm not interested in having to do it again.

    I dunno if LinkedIn is the best place to grow your networking, but it's an avenue. If you're careful with it, I think it could be a valuable tool. I haven't yet had to put it to the test, and I hope I don't have to any time soon. But it's something that you need to build while you have a job, and not wait until you're already out of work.

    I agree with another poster--of the networking social sites out there, Linked In appears to be the only one that has career value.

  • by svunt (916464) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:07PM (#26951761) Homepage Journal
    I heart facebook & linkedin. Used to be hard to find high-value debtors once they left the country, now linkedin tells me where they are and who they work for. I work in Melbourne, and every week I lovate people in Istanbul, Dubai, Honh Kong, LA, Brussels....once facebook or linkedin gives me a bunch of info to start with, the rest is easy. Like other posters have noted, some people cannot afford not to have a presence on these sites. Works for me...KA-CHING
  • Yes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SecurityGuy (217807) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:13PM (#26951807)

    In a word, yes, you're being excessively paranoid. To be sure, there are bits of information you don't publicize. but I don't think your name and where you work, just by themselves, meet that criteria unless you're in the CIA or something. Your social, your credit card numbers, address, home phone number, and all that, sure. Keep those to yourself. I don't understand why your name and where you work is such a great secret. I think you vastly overestimate the value of knowing the John Doe works for Regional Restaurant Chain.

    It's rare that I say this in a security context, but loosen up a little. :)

  • The opposite problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro@NosPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:15PM (#26951821) Homepage Journal

    I have thus far managed to stay completely below the radar and a search on Google has nothing on my real persona.

    I actually have the opposite problem: my first and last name combination is so common that I doubt I actually appear anywhere in the first 50 pages of Google Results. Adding my middle name gets nothing. It's only when you add my university that you start getting hits that are me.

    I used to think this was a cute benefit. However, with more and more employers doing searches, and my work being all about the web, I realized that having no results related to me could actually be negative. While I don't go out search for them, this insight has caused me to be much more lenient towards any site that is recommended to me, such as LinkedIn, or even an account on a career/job site. I still keep them fairly sparse, but it's better that I have something to point to ("No, that's some other FirstName RyoShin, I'm FirstName M. RyoShin, and THIS is my account on that site") to help ease any confusion.

    I'm not gaining any privacy by doing this, but I don't think I'm losing any, either. Furthermore, I am gaining recognition and a firm reputation.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:23PM (#26951881) Homepage

    Consider this: your name, address and who you work for are hardly personal, private information (in most cases, at least). The first two anybody can find by opening the phone book. The last probably isn't instantly available to J. Random Passerby but generally isn't something you keep too private. I'd guess most of your friends know where you work, as does anybody they talk to about you. So I'm personally not too concerned about that information being on places like Facebook, Linkedin and the like. I actually put it up there myself so somebody else doesn't impersonate me or get mistaken for me (or if they do, I can point whoever's making the mistake at my page and point out that their mistake wasn't for my lack of having the correct entry up there).

    Now, I'm not going to put details of my personal life up on those sites. It's strictly name, address, current employer, and a pointer to my Web site and resume. More than that, is not those social-networking sites are for as far as I'm concerned.

  • I created a Facebook account solely because somebody with the same name as I already had one, and people were assuming his profile was mine. So by creating a minimal profile on that social networking site, I took better control over my identity.

    Linkedin has definite professional benefits, allows you to maintain limited contact with former co-workers, people who you might later find working in the same city as you've just moved to, or the firm where you are thinking of applying for a job.

    If you refuse to voluntarily publish positive information about yourself, what will potential employers find? If nothing at all, they may tend to assume the worst, or at least assume you have no notable skills, hobbies, friends or publications.

  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:28PM (#26951919)
    Alot of time when going through resumes, if we try to Google the person, do a usenet lookup or other such things and can't find them anywhere, to us (when evaluating resumes), it means you are lying on your resume or have very little work experience. Mainly because people in IT use the internet day in and day out to communicate, ask the community how to do something and so on.

    If you aren't communicating, it doesn't tell me that you just aren't communicating, it tells me you have little experience. And in a sense, because you aren't using this resource for what it is for, it is somewhat true. Start posting questions in forums, and creating an online identity. Some online identity is better than NONE.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thoglette (74419)

      Which means you won't be hiring many mature non-narcissists.

      As we both are currently doing, many people use a nom de plume on the web. As a sometime consultant this part ticularily useful - I can be honest in my opinions on line without embarassing clients who, for perfectly valid business reasons, chose a path other than "the right one".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Foofoobar (318279)
        So only narcissists post questions in online forums? Only narcissists have friends or contacts? Only narcissists publish articles? Thats an intriguing definition of a narcissist.

        Most IT professionals will at some time or another HAVE to do something they are unfamiliar with and have posted in a forum online a question on how to integrate or use a library or so on. This has nothing to do with being a narcissist. It has to do with searching for information. People who don't do this scare me as they think t
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have an entire department of top-notch IT staff who all - collectively - have almost ZERO online id - including me. Each and every one of my hires has at least double the appropriate experience as any of the other dozens of candidates we interviewed - many/most with EXTENSIVE online id's in various networks.

      Your comment is illogical and incorrect.

      Posted by Anonymous Coward - check out my linkedbook facedin tubespace twitter flickr profile and hire me! Surely if I have all these online ID's I must be a g

  • Business cards (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:30PM (#26951931)

    I use LinkedIn in the same way that I would keep a business card that someone gives me. However, the advantages of LinkedIn are:

    1. When they move company, their details are automatically updated and I don't lose contact. I've got a load of business cards which I have no quick way of verifying if they're still accurate.
    2. I can export my contacts into a format which Outlook will happily read. Not a chance with Facebook.
    3. LinkedIn is geared around working connections, so you don't get all the fluff that you'd get with Facebook. This allows me to keep working contacts and friends separate.
    4. I can see how people are related to people I know - which is useful when I'd like to get some references from people I trust.
    5. It shows employees that when I say I have links to certain people in companies, I'm actually being truthful.
    6. It allows me to have a "way in" to a company as someone working there invariably used to work with someone else I know. I found a great software development team through a colleague of a colleague.
    7. It allows me to find people for specific requests easier. Someone I know wanted to talk to someone at Apple about iSync support for a device, LinkedIn provided him with the Product Managers name and a person they both knew.
    8. They have quite a good jobs selection which, whilst small, is generally more targeted to the roles you're interested in doing.
    9. It's great for being head-hunted or job hunting as a whole as recruiters can access your details (provided you let them) and offer you possible opportunities.

    There are probably more. If I was forced to drop Facebook or LinkedIn, I'd drop Facebook as LinkedIn is significantly more useful to me.

  • by Tumbarumba (74816) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:32PM (#26951953) Homepage
    Having some sort of online presence is a great way to control (or at least influence) the image about you online. There's a heap of stuff on google about personal brand management. This one looked like it had a lot of relevant points regarding why you should consider this to be important: http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/archives/2008/04/building_personal_brand.html [bruceclay.com]
  • by drew_eckhardt (30709) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @07:04PM (#26952233) Homepage

    A web presence connected me with one founder who hired me as first technical employee in his startup (which was fun until we went out of business) and a big corporation with a six figure bonus + relocation package (but no interesting work to go with it).

    I get a lot of traffic from recruiters from my linkedin account, some of which I'd entertain if I was looking for a job.

    Once you reach the limits of your real-life social network, you really need another marketting strategy for career growth. While not ideal (there's a lot of noise) linkedin is worth the hassle.

  • by digitalgimpus (468277) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @08:04PM (#26952675) Homepage
    There is some merit to LinkedIn. Keeping in touch with old business contacts, making new ones, whatever. It's pretty profession and despite a recruiter or two being an annoyance overall no biggie. Good place to showcase your experience. Facebook IMHO has no real business use. It's too difficult to separate business and personal. Your inviting people to judge you based on your high school buddy with a profile pic you'd rather your boss not see. There's really no good way to handle Facebook. Dual profiles are discouraged too. As a result my profile for years has been pretty empty, no friends and privacy settings turned up. Most people in your network are viewable provided you hookup your work address. Good way to look in on the facebook world without a care.
  • by technomom (444378) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @10:33PM (#26953739)

    I haven't heard of anyone's career destroyed because of stuff that got posted on LinkedIn.

  • by Roblimo (357) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @10:53PM (#26953849) Homepage Journal

    When I was laid off Dec. 31 I immediately announced my freelance availability on LinkedIn, Facebook, and a private journalists' email list I'm on. I've been busy ever since. LinkedIn has gotten me the most/best leads, but I've gotten some nice local ones through Facebook and a few from colleagues through the journo list.

    The most interesting project I've landed came from a LinkedIn contact in Austin, TX, who hooked me up with someone in Raleigh, NC, who was doing a health care IT startup and needed writing/PR/marketing help. So I have a nice freelance account doing socially useful work for good people, all arranged over the Internet (although we've met F2F since).

    Don't knock networking. It's the best way to get jobs you might actually like, with people you might like -- and who might like YOU. :)

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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