A new concept from LinkedIn: BuddySpam

I don’t know what else to call it, but once a week or so now I get an invitation from someone I don’t know to connect with them on LinkedIn, all with the default invitation wording:

“I’ve recently joined LinkedIn, and I’ve found it to be a useful online business tool.

“LinkedIn lets you reach recommended employees, hiring managers and business partners through referrals from people you already know and trust. You won’t receive spam or unwanted requests since people can only reach you if I decide to forward a message to you because it looks like a good opportunity.”

First off, why do they have default wording? Why not force people to type something, anything in to have the invitation sent? But more importantly, what’s the point of joining a professional networking organization if you get connection invitations from people who masquerade as old friends? Seems like a shaky foundation, somehow. And if it’s the system that makes it difficult for people to say “Dave, we met at the CIK dinner a few weeks ago and I’d like to connect” then that’s an engineering/user interface problem, isn’t it?

Nonetheless, it’s another speedbump on the success of social networking groups, in my opinion, just as the never-ending waves of spam on Orkut will doubtless just increase as that site becomes more popular too. And Ryze, well, I think they forgot to keep innovating and now it’s an interesting idea with some miserable foundational technologies, like its discussion forums.

Clearly this is a tough nut to crack, and crack well. Any other interesting social network models out there?

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