There is an interesting tempest in a teapot brewing that apparently started with a comment posted by Yann from OpenBC on my post about some LinkedIn upgrades which I thought were great.
I had interpreted the comment as spam and could not really understand how a GM for a competing service could imagine that he would enhance traffic to his social networking service with such “anonymous” practices.
Knowing that some of the marketing practices in this field are…let’s say “interesting” (see what Spoke did on Ross Mayfield’s blog a long time ago) I found it noteworthy enough to create a new post about it – which Jeff Clavier picked up in one of his LinkedIn reviews. At that point I thought that was the end of that.
Then came a post from Loic yesterday – a LinkedIn angel – in which he described how he had asked LinkedIn to remove all linkages and endorsements between him and Yann – all of which seemed to have been created based on very “weak links.”
Yann kicked into gear and posted some explanatory comments on my site, offered to do a Skype call with me (which I hope will happen sometimes soon – I am always up for a good discussion), and apparently reached Loic in person, who subsequently deleted his post (he explains the reasons why on Neville’s post on the subject).
What is fascinating in this whole exchange is that we are in the midst of an emerging new social code of conduct. While much of the online social etiquette is similar to that of the face-to-face world (i.e., criticize the ideas, not the people presenting the ideas), we are in need of many new acceptable social codes of conduct. Think of “de-friending” in the Livejournal community, the ability to reject someone’s request to network without making it personal, or de-endorsing as Loic did, just to mention a few.
As part of enabling this new emerging social code of conduct, the underlying social architecture will also have to adapt (disclosure – we are running a social architecture symposium in November – more on that later) – how people manage their identity, attention schemas, rating and ranking schemas, etc.
It will be fascinating to watch how all this plays out…