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LinkedIn is a social media network site founded by Reid Hoffman created for professionals to connect with current and former colleagues. The site also allows users to host and maintain a resume.
The site was founded in 2002 and launched in 2003 by Hoffman about six months after he organized a group of workers. Many of the people who were behind the launch were people he had worked with at money-transferring service PayPal and SocialNet. After their first month of operation they had over 4,000 members. In 2005 the company began selling subscriptions that would allow members to send messages to other LinkedIn members they didn’t know. They also launched their job board that year.
2012 Account Hacking
On June 4th, 2012, Russian hackers were able to obtain over 6.4 millions passwords from LinkedIn members. Because of LinkedIn’s reputation as a very professional, and thus uninteresting social platform, many took to Twitter to make light of the hacking. On June 7th, several guides were published to check if your password was among the stolen on sites like Venture Beat and The Huffington Post.
- Members can send invites to connect to current and former colleges
- Member pages allow users to build and host their resume, including endorsements from current and former employees
- Members with premium subscriptions may send messages to members they are not connected with
- Members may endorse other member’s in skill areas relevant to their profession
- Members can search for others by name or company
As of February 2014, LinkedIn has more than 277 million registered members. Only 34% of its members are based in the United States. The fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn is recent college graduates.
Bang with Professionals
On February 1st, 2013, the site Bang With Professionals was launched. The site allowed users to connect through their LinkedIn network, then label co-workers they’d like to hook-up with “would bang.” When two people labeled each other as would bang the site would e-mail them the news. The founders explained their site saying:
""We obviously saw what others were doing," the site’s anonymous founders said in reference to communities like Grindr and Blendr, “but it was hard for us to think of really hooking up with someone using their services. In our opinion a network such as LinkedIn might be a good place to look when trying to hook up with someone. After all, you spend most of your time at work, so chances are finding someone to hook up with used on your LinkedIn profile might be a good place to start.”
The site was shut down less than two weeks later on February 11th, after LinkedIn’s API key was revoked.
Pope Job Listing
On March 12th, 2013, a job posting for the Pope appeared on LinkedIn, as a joking reaction to Pope Benedict stepping down from copywriter William Grave. The listing was removed soon after it was posted, but at least 30 applications for the position were sent.
Cleveland Woman’s Rude Reply Goes Viral
On February 19th, 2004, Diana Mekota, a twenty-six-year-old job searcher sent a LinkedIn request to Kelly Blazek, who is in charge of an online job board for marketers living in Cleveland, Ohio. Mekota received an angry e-mail in response, which expressed frustration that Mekota would try to connect with her without knowing her. She said,
""Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky.Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26-year-old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job. I love the sense of entitlement in your generation.You’re welcome for your humility lesson for the year. Don’t ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your network."
Mekota posted the entire message on Imgur on February 19th with the caption:
“Moving to a new area so I attempted to join her job board and followed it up with a LinkedIn invite. This was the email response I received. Guess us twenty somethings should bow down to senior professionals because clearly we have nothing to offer.
Just like to point out that her LinkedIn page reads: “Frequent speaker on creating a gamechanger resume, professional presence, and how LinkedIn is a critical element of any job search.”
Mekota also posted her original message in which she asked to join Blazek’s job board to Imgur on February 25th. The message briefly outlined her education and previous positions.
The e-mail was posted on Buzzfeed on February 20th, which noted that Blazek had been named “2013 Communicator of the Year” by the Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.
The hashtag #blazek topped Twitter’s trending topics list on February 25th, with many using the hashtag to condemn Blazek for her harsh words.
That same day Blazek sent a letter of apology to Mokota and The Plain Dealer, an Ohio newspaper. In the e-mail she explained she had become frustrated with how many job seekers sought her help every day, and that led her to be short with Mekota. She went on to say:
“The note I sent to Diana was rude, unwelcoming, unprofessional and wrong. I am reaching out to her to apologize. Diana and her generation are the future of this city. I wish her all the best in landing a job in this great town.”
- The Daily Dot- Bang With Professionals: How LinkedIn can get you laid
- The Daily Dot- LinkedIn hacked, 6.4 million user passwords at risk
- Venture Beat- Was YOUR LinkedIn password hacked? Here’s how to find out
- The Huffington Post- LinkedIn Password Hack: Check To See If Yours Was One Of The 6.5 Million Leaked
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