Thursday, April 3, 2014

But What's In It for Me?

It was the confluence of things.

I got a note from one Laura McPherson telling me that I'd made her list of the top 50 criminal law blogs (at lucky number 13, no less).  Zowie!  And she thought it would be just peachy if I advertised that with a link to her list.  

Doug Berman, who took first place, promptly did.  I didn't then, and if you'll notice, I'm not doing it now, though it's not that hard to find if you're curious, and I'm sure Doug isn't the only one who bit.

Then I got a repeat request from marketer Viviana Shafrin who figures that her last e-mail must have gone into my spam folder because I didn't just jump at using (and linking to) the infographic her folks have made about whatever it was.

And then I got a request to link to someone on LinkedIn.  

Now, I have a LinkedIn account complete with secret decoder ring.  I keep the information on it pretty much up-to-date because I'd prefer there not be a lot of false information that I'm responsible for on the web (can't help the false info I'm not responsible for).  It's the same reason I keep the stuff on AVVO up to date (I'm a Superior 10.0 if you've been wondering).  I signed up with those folks for their free accounts when I went back into private practice after my gig as ACLU of Ohio Legal Director.  I figured they'd be good for business and I wouldn't do the pay versions so what the hell.  (An aside - they proved themselves absolutely worthless, at least for the kind of business I was interested in.)

Anyhow, keeping the data roughly up-to-date is essentially all I do with those sites.  But with LinkedIn, at least, there's always more.  Because there are all these requests to link to so and so.  And my policy has always been something like, What the hell?  

If I can figure out who you are, and I don't hate you, what do I care if we're somehow linked?  Except I got this Link-to-Me request from Guy Barone, who I actually know, and would have, were it two days ago, accepted.  But it wasn't two days ago.  Because there'd just been these e-mails from Viviana and from Laura.  And this very strange letter telling me how wonderful a presentation a colleague and I had given was, which is lovely and I appreciated it no end.  Except that we hadn't done it.  Not individually.  Not as a team.  Nope.  Not us.

And I thought, I don't have a clue why anyone would want me to accept their links.  I mean, I don't have jobs to offer.  (And Guy Barone doesn't need one anyhow.)  And finally I realized (I think I'm slow; if I were on facebook or I twitted I'd probably have understood this years ago) that these requests are just like the ones from the marketers - in fact most of them are probably generated by the marketers.  They don't care about anything except the link.

If I agree to be linked to Guy, he gets to add another to the whatever number of folks he's linked to.  And he can say (he wouldn't, but someone on his behalf might), 
Hey, Gamso and me. 
Which if he were stupid enough to think so (he's not, but his people or audience might be) might be supposed to provide some cachet.

So, sorry Guy.  As of today, no more accepting link requests from decent folks I happen to know (like you) or people I can just sort-of identify and don't hate.  But here, Guy, because it's not anything against you, is a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Best of luck.


  1. But, but, but . . . validation?!?

  2. I knew it was a scam when my blog made the list. I'd thought Doug was a little more sophisticated than that.

    1. Notice that at the bottom of the list it says something like (I'm not going there to check the wording), If you think your blog should be on this list, send us a note. It doesn't say anything about providing a check, too, or even a link.

      But hey, as the pope said, "Who am I to judge?" Of course, as my son responded, "He's the fucking pope, that's who."

  3. I wouldn't worry about the links (or contacts or connections or whatever else they're calling them). Connecting with someone just means you want to follow what happens to them, or whatever. Nobody takes that too seriously. Where LinkedIn gets strange is with the endorsements. I mean, does every single person who endorsed you for Litigation really know about your litigation skills? People have endorsed me for skills they couldn't possibly know anything about. That's just weird.

    1. After a post by Bennett about false AVVO endorsement, I went and culled a couple of those from people I didn't know. The LinkedIn ones strike me as so silly I don't even bother to look at them. And I have no idea whether I can selectively edit.

      But if nobody takes the connections seriously, then why are so many marketers or lawyers or whoever pushing them? It's like the damn Nigerians. Nobody actually goes for the scam. Except for those people who do. And it doesn't take many Marks to make a con profitable.

  4. I am sore because, apparently, I didn't make the list. I am also sore at Viviana Shafrin. I assumed her offer had been exclusive to me.

    1. Look again, Jamison. You're number 16. And by the way, since I posted that I wouldn't put up a link, my rank dropped to 14. (Coincidence? You be the judge.)