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Expecting a call from Jesus Christ any day now
December 7, 2010 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Despite never meeting them, or having any meaningful correspondence, I have been added as a linkedin contact for some rather important people. How?

I appear to have hit the networking motherload.

Yesterday, I received an email saying I had a new linkedin contact. None other than Gabe Newell, the CEO of Valve software. The thing is, despite being a huge fan of Team Fortress 2, attending Valve's student seminar at last year's Game Developer's Conference, and a single email response from him over something, I haven't had any other direct contact with him. So I'm flabbergasted as to why I would be added as a contact.

The account appears legitimate, the company profile he's associated with has familiar employee names, and his linkedin network contains other, legitimate industry leaders.

Additionally, when I made my linkedin account I had a new contact automatically there for me at the end of registration: Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. The only connection I have with him (besides using Reddit, a lot) is that I have a reddit account on the site verified with the email I used to setup the linkedin account (Even though this is used for verification/password purposes only). Again, flabbergasted.

My guess is that the email sent a few months back was recorded, and once every few months Gabe will click "Add new contacts to linkedin network" or something similar, and a glut of fans will be added to his network. This does not explain why Mr. Ohanian was my first contact, despite not having any direct correspondence with him (and the verification email for reddit, and twitter, being hidden).

How is Linkedin doing this? Why would the CEO of a major game company want to add random email contacts to their linkedin network?

More importantly, how do I capitalize on this mad nerd cred that I've acquired?
posted by hellojed to Work & Money (9 answers total)
 
The short answer to your question is: lots of people add whoever is in their email address book as contacts to LinkedIn. It need not imply any sort of relationship in the conventional sense. The guy may remember you or may not.
posted by dfriedman at 12:22 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I myself have the head of Disney Canada and one of the founders of Wired Magazine as my LinkedIn contacts, as well as the creator of Ruby, the programming language.

It's cool that you are LinkedIn contacts with this fellow, but it's no big deal. There is probably a simple explanation: you sent an automated email requesting a LinkedIn connection, both accepted.

Valve and Reddit are not huge companies, and neither of these guys are traditional Fortune 500 type A personalities who have a staff to tell them what to wear in the morning.

The cool thing about the internet, and, most recently, online social networks, are that it's easy to form relationships with virtually anyone.

But forming relationships is based on more than a LinkedIn connection.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:31 PM on December 7, 2010


yep, importing of email contacts.

also: marketing. i've had the CEOs of some of my favorite game and porn companies add me as a contact on twitter to be all like "look, we're friends! now give me money."
posted by nadawi at 12:32 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


you sent an automated email requesting a LinkedIn connection, both accepted.

To clarify, I didn't knowingly send a message through linkedin to either of these people, hence the confusion.
posted by hellojed at 12:43 PM on December 7, 2010


Why would the CEO of a major game company want to add random email contacts to their linkedin network?

"Hey, Brooke, when you get a second, can you add people to my LinkedIn? Yeah, whoever's in my email address book is fine; don't spend a lot of time sorting it out."
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:43 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Do you belong to any shared groups? What is your profile privacy policy?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:45 PM on December 7, 2010


Do you belong to any shared groups? What is your profile privacy policy?

We don't share any groups. I have the default privacy settings.
posted by hellojed at 12:52 PM on December 7, 2010


Have you searched LinkedIn to see how many other people there are with your name? Is it the case that one of those [your first name] [your last name]s is a big name in software? Perhaps Newell asked to connect when he saw that Ohanian was linked to you, assuming you were someone else with the same name. As to why Ohanian's contact was ready when you opened your account, I'm not sure.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 1:41 PM on December 7, 2010


interesting. i got an email a couple of weeks ago congratulating me for being connected with a certain small newspaper editor. i never asked to be connected, never heard of him, don't have his email address in my gmail contacts, etc.
so, no answer for you, but i am equally perplexed.
posted by sabh at 2:55 PM on December 7, 2010


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