Recently, LinkedIn sent out
spam congratulatory emails to some of its members, telling them that they ranked in the top one, five, or ten percent of the most viewed profiles. Which sounds great, till you realize that LinkedIn has 200 million members. Now I’m no math whiz, but I’m pretty sure that ten percent of 200 million is 20 million. Even the lofty top one percent loses some of its luster when you realize it’s a distinction shared with 1,999,999 other users.
So if being a member of such a large crowd pleases you, that’s fine. But do you really want to brag about it on Twitter and Facebook? The distinction is dubious and the self-promotional element seems a little tone deaf. It’s kind of like trumpeting your Klout score or how many Google Wave friends you have. There’s nothing wrong with self-promotion, as long as it’s done with authenticity and class. By all means, shout out your accomplishments to your friends — they’ll be proud of you for the stuff you’ve actually done.
By the way, I’ve got nothing against LinkedIn for running this promotion. I give the company credit for getting people to promote the site for free.