Four out of Five Social Networks Surveyed Said…

Something that always gets my fur up is the blatant use of fishy language dressed up like “fact” or science.

Last week when i was so idly bored (by choice) I was watching late night TV, and there were two different ads for things like “Gut Buster” or “Pilates Plus” – those ones where people are so obviously and disgustedly 6-pack abs fit they dont need devices to get in shape- flash by these charts that claim, “227% More Efficiency” or “190% more effective”… and than never say what they are compared to or how.

But that’s TV, it is aimed at the PT Barnum crowd.

Yet, I find the same crud in my inbox. I usually ignore the requests for “LinkedIn” connections or Plaxo requests until I get to a night I am so bored (beyond the boredom of watching network TV, really rock bottom boredom), and I then might go in and clear the decks on those social network effects.

I’ve knocked LinkedIn around a lot in the past and remain mostly un-enamored, but give some credit for a few improvements here and there; nonetheless, the overriding reason to link in linked in is to increase the number of linkedin links one has. I’m non-plussed at social networking sites that exist for nothing more than connecting.

So in their notices, someone on the LinkedIn marketing or spam department decided to make the notices more “human” like by added random phrases at the bottom, and here’s one that made me cough up a fur ball:

Fact: Adding 5 connections makes you 3.7x more likely to receive a job offer

More likely than what? Getting hit in the schnoz by a flying carp? Throwing a resume out a window? How does one prove/disprove such a point? My data, with 107 connections, suggest I should be 74 more likely to have received a job offer (so far, not that I am looking, is zero). Am I an abberation? Am I not gaming the game right?

My point is not just to blindly read stats and “facts” without questioning them severely. And question why some entity would cloud their message with stat-crud.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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