LinkedIn Spam

Written by Nexcerpt on August 28th, 2012 in Patterns & News.
Tags: , , ,

I recently joined a LinkedIn group for Startup Weekend. I was astonished to see the posts dominated by spams and scams, so I posted a note to the Group Moderators: “Startup Weekend” is quickly being overtaken by (obviously) scam promotions, posted by (likely) bogus profiles.

Yesterday it was “Dixie Armstrong,” today it’s “Angie Ludlum.”

Both direct inquiries to the same referrer: “jjdugan.” Think about it: two people, with very slim profiles, ~neither~ named “JJ” or “Dugan,” both of whom joined only moments before posting, are promoting highly questionable positions, to the benefit of a third party.

And, here’s “Martha Brundidge,” with an even thinner profile, and an even more blatant sales pitch.

Kill it before it spreads.

That was a eleven days ago. No moderator has responded in any way. This Startup Weekend group has over 3,700 members, and none of the professional social media expert moderators are paying attention to it — even though half the group postings every day (sometimes the only postings) are spam and scam.

See Update 14:30 EDT 29 Aug 2012, below.

Since the cats are away — and the mice are thus welcome to trash the venue — I decided to have some fun by acknowledging the “social media experts” in charge!

The group is “owned” (with no apparent involvement) by Andrew Hyde. His ironic profile quote: “Create overall social media strategy…

The group is “managed” (with no apparent effort) by six different Startup Weekend staff (whose ironic profile quotes, in this context, are hilarious):

Shane Reiser — “I help group organizers and community managers grow their groups and better engage their communities…”

Adam Stelle — “he’s serious about the quality of his work…”

Jennifer Cabala — “Specialties: Marketing, social media and digital strategy, community management…”

Joey Pomerenke — “Chief Marketing Officer at Startup Weekend.”

Pankaj Hain — “His commitment to the community is second to none…

Marc Nager — “The people involved with things like Startup Weekend are ensuring that change isn’t just something we talk about…”

In conclusion, I’d like to call special attention to the scammers and the scams now abusing LinkedIn in general, and the Startup Weekend group, in particular.

The two jobs being pitched in the most dishonest way (since they are the most dishonest opportunities) are the scam RealWritingJobs and the scam GetCashForSurveys. Beware of either site.

The three most bogus benefiting referers (whose multiple LinkedIn profiles are equally bogus) go by the handles “jjduggan,” “ldssahm,” and “anewnow.”

It seems safe to presume it’s this “Most Powerful Money Making System jjduggan.” This is likely to be Latter Day Saint Stay at Home Mom ldssahm. And, there is a good chance that the third source is Emerge Consulting, where most references to “anewnow” lead.

I don’t know whether to be more disappointed in the scammers for being so scummy… or in LinkedIn for failing utterly to block bogus profiles and blatant spam… or in Startup Weekend for ignoring what could be an active, vibrant LinkedIn group.


Update 10:30 EDT 29 Aug 2012: I’ve been scolded at LinkedIn for this post, for “mocking them for not managing a stupid [sic] linkedin group the way you want them to.” Oh, boohoo.

I genuinely hope the folks who represent Startup Weekend are not that petty — and I’m sure they’re not that thin-skinned. Either they want the LinkedIn group to thrive, or not. If they don’t want it to thrive, then laughing off my tiny little post should be easy!

Here’s the core of my response from LinkedIn:

This has nothing to do with how I “want” anyone to behave — they CREATED this social environment and claim to be EXPERTS at maintaining its quality and value! Let’s see some damn expertise!

This has nothing to do with “the way” anyone manages the group. NOBODY manages it in ANY way. Let’s see some damn management!

Personally, I don’t consider this group “stupid”, as you put it. I’m ~pushing~ Startup Weekend to no particular benefit other than that of the larger community — mostly people I will never meet. In your mind, apparently, that gives me an excuse to ignore… what, exactly? My work? My relationships? My reputation?

Startup Weekend is a serious endeavor — but LinkedIn is a serious platform. If Startup Weekend won’t (or can’t) take LinkedIn seriously, they should close the group. Period.

They also have the option of granting authority to managers who WILL do the work. That’s how valuable groups on LinkedIn solve this problem; that’s how social media experts demonstrate leadership; that’s how real people get real things done in real life.

Working their asses off elsewhere is NO excuse for ignoring core elements of the movement. That kind of bullshit doesn’t cut it in a real job; no one should accept it here.

Seriously? With a staff of social media experts, Startup Weekend can’t find one intern, or one volunteer, worldwide, anywhere, who can spend one minute removing spam from a group that serves 3,700 members, representing hundreds of startup events? Not one person? For one minute?!?

I can’t believe there’s a need to explain this stuff!

Bonus <sigh>

Update 14:30 EDT 29 Aug 2012: Mitchell Cuevas has done a great job of addressing this concern.

I don’t delete posts here, or change them in any meaningful way; I even have a policy of leaving errors here intact, while adding corrections. Within that framework, I can’t accomplish Mitchell’s request, but I’ve struck out the group manager names above. I admit some curiosity as to why those names persist as managers of the Startup Weekend LinkedIn group… but I’ll leave it alone for now ;-)


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