About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not Quite Random Requests to Link Up

I may be overreacting on this one, but nothing frosts me like requests to connect on Linkedin from total strangers. I get these pretty regularly, and it seems to me that the people sending the requests are completely missing the point of that service.

For those of you who don't use that service, Linkedin is a professional social networking site where you can link up with folks who you know from work, or from professional societies, or from other professional connections that you might have with them. Naturally, there's a certain amount of linking up with friends, but this is not a place where one goes to play with each other.

To me, the idea is that you would link up with people who you know (first and foremost), and for whom you have at least a modicum of respect. You need to have these filters in place, because i'm goign to look in Linkedin to find someone (for instance) who works at a company that you're considering applying to. Or, you might go looking for someone who either currently works with or used to work with a candidate that you're about to interview for a job.

The whole point of Linkedin is to have a network of professional contacts and aquaintences on whom you can count when you need a little insight, or professional advice. Or even to whom you might be able to help in these capacities.

I really hate getting Linkedin requests from people because we're in the same group: "You and I are both in the bird watcher's group...we should totally hook up!"

Or requests based upon the fact that we have mutual contacts: "Hey! You and I both know Dave...we should totally hook up!"

And mostly from headhunters...er...recruiters, who really just want nothing more than to have another contact in their virtual Rolodex and access to a whole other group of contacts. Of course, this one I at least understand, from the point of view of the headhunter.

Ok...headhunters are almost mostly...mostly from people just trying to amass as many connections as they can.

Linkedin is a tool that helps me to maintain contact with professional colleagues who I would really rather not lose track of. It is not a toy, not a popularity contest, not a fishing hole, not speed dating, not farmville (or professionalville).

Leave me and my linkedin account the hell alone if you don't know me. There's a reason I'm not in facefrigginbook.

See what sort of little things can push an otherwise sane man off a cliff?


  1. We'll put it down to the heat.

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  3. I'd like to take this opportunity to bitch about anti-spam alphanumeric codes. In theory, a great idea. In practice, an exercise in my ability to read a word written in three different fonts with the letters squished together forming a word that doesn't even exist. I much prefer it when the test is something to the effect of: What color is this? (shows red circle) Type 'red', you win. Is that so difficult?

  4. I am glad you explained this to me. I really didn't know much about LinkedIn. Now I know what not to do.