I hate LinkedIn. I open it out of habit and accept everyone who adds me because I don’t know why I wouldn’t. I rarely respond to anyone when they message me. But there is one weird trick that you can use to actually get me (and other humans) to respond.
I sometimes like to hassle people on LinkedIn. Why? Because it is a spam garden full of misspelled, grunty requests from international software houses that are looking, primarily, to sell you services. Because it’s LinkedIn it’s super easy to slip past any and all defenses against this spam and so I get messages like these:
Why do people do this? I suspect there is some sort of dubious networking book that helps introverted desk jockeys fill their conversations with canned junk. Gail, over there, seems nice enough and he’s been doing a really nice job keeping up with all of my anniversaries. But why? What did it get him? Maybe I’ll meet him at a conference and he’ll be able to use it as a point of connection. That might be cool, but I doubt it will happen.
Rather than get into that, however, I’d like to explain how to pitch someone like me — a busy journalist and entrepreneur who treats LinkedIn like a whack-a-mole weekly chore that has become more a bad habit than necessity. I know people have used LinkedIn to find jobs. I never have. I know people use LinkedIn to sell products. It’s never worked for me. I know people like LinkedIn.
I think it’s hot vomit in a paper bag.
Anyway, here’s the best exchange I had on LinkedIn in the past few weeks. I mean the very best. It’s one that I replied to kindly and with interest. Why? Because I wasn’t used as a dump for someone’s cheery spam message. Here it is: