A Considerable Collection Of Boneheads: Meet LinkedIn’s Influencers


LinkedIn, as a company, knows, they are of limited use. So they’re trying to keep you around by becoming content producers. Unfortunately, tech companies have proven to be tone deaf when it comes to content. LinkedIn and their choice of “influencers” further proves this. In fact, a lot of those LinkedIn influencers are the same social media experts I wrote about in Social Media Is Bullshit. And now those hucksters are being placed in front of job seekers, LinkedIn’s core audience, as if they were wise guides that can somehow help these job seekers find work and advance their careers.

I want you to think about this for a moment. Here we have an eager audience of job seekers who are captive on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn endorsing to those job seekers advice from hucksters, frauds, and other sociopaths who made themselves rich by selling snake oil during our country’s second great depression. This means for those of you hiring, you’re now hiring individuals who have been exposed to bad people and worse advice. Advice that they will now impart unto you and your company if you hire them.

Although LinkedIn has amassed a considerable collection of boneheads to be their influencers, let me briefly tell you about three of them: Arianna Huffington, Henry Blodget, and Randi Zuckerberg.

1. Arianna Huffington: Huffington was formerly a conservative who once lead the charge online demanding that President Bill Clinton resign. When being a conservative didn’t suit her any longer, Arianna then hired a couple of guys, one of whom was Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti, who were really good at manipulating Google’s search engine to build a politically left-leaning news aggregator. And despite Google’s constant assurances, it’s easy to manipulate their search results, which is how The Huffington Post became what it is today. She also lied to the general public by telling people blogging for The Huffington Post is equivalent to getting exposure on the Today Show (a claim that was later debunked thoroughly by Nate Silver).

Despite of this, LinkedIn has labeled Arianna as an influencer and someone who should be giving potential job seekers advice.

2. Henry Blodget: Henry Blodget is an alleged financial criminal. He is banned for life from doing any sort of work in the securities industry and was fined $ 4,000,000 for his alleged behavior. Yet the stuff Blodget is not supposed to be involved with is what he winds up blogging about over at his website, Business Insider, without much disclosure of his alleged criminal activities in the past and later settlement with the SEC. Blodget’s Business Insider media property was built using the same Google spamming tactics Arianna Huffington and Jonah Peretti used to build The Huffington Post. So on top of being an alleged financial criminal, Blodget’s other claim to fame is copying the search engine optimization tactics of a wealthy hypocrite. A famous example of these SEO tactics in action at Business Insider includes a post in May of 2012, written by Blodget, with the headline, “Why do people hate Jews?” Blodget later only changed the headline after he was called out by Foster Kamer at the Observer, and others.

(Although it was hard to imagine someone ever being able to top The Huffington Post’s infamous “What time does the Super Bowl start?” post, Blodget found a way. And again, according to LinkedIn, this qualifies Blodget to give advice to potential job seekers.)

3. Randi Zuckerberg: Who? Exactly. Unfortunately, you recognize her last name. Randi Zuckerberg is famous for being Mark Zuckerberg’s sister. That’s it. Randi Zuckerberg has done nothing and accomplished less, to the point where she was more or less kicked out of Facebook and isn’t even on speaking terms with her brother. And you know what Randi’s contributions to LinkedIn are? Essentially ripping off an article written by Jenna Wortham in The New York Times, and then in the same way Blodget and Huffington have built up their online media empires off other people’s work, Zuckerberg throws a link to the article she ripped off at the end of her piece. You know, in the event you were curious to see the original, which few ever are after their salient points from a post have been “aggregated.”

So, if you’re keeping score at home, LinkedIn has designated as “influencers”: A wealthy socialite, an alleged financial criminal, and Mark Zuckerberg’s sister. No wonder people can’t find work these days — look at who’s giving them advice.

Image by WilleeCole.

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