Weekly round-up of business and idiocy news

penguin-seal

A killer app for LinkedIn and other such sites

A little insignia that indicates you actually know a person as opposed to just being part of your “network.” Any time I need an intro at LinkedIn I always email the person who I’m connected to and check whether or not they actually are. Allow me to quote one friend’s response:

Good news: Sent an intro.

Bad news: I don’t know who the f- he is.

That is the point at which the utility of LinkedIn et al. starts to break

I hate it when they’re funnier than I am, Part 2: Social Terror Networking

Damn you, BOROWITZ!!!

After successfully sponsoring several of the presidential debates, Facebook is spreading its wings once more, announcing today that it would become the official co-sponsor of the United States’ war on terror.

In snagging the coveted anti-terrorism sponsorship, the popular networking site beat out two of its rivals, MySpace and YouTube, who had also vied to co-sponsor the global struggle against Islamic extremism.

As if that wasn’t enough to piss me off, he’s also written:

Obama Wins Country Music Entertainer of the Year … Coming off a weekend in which he racked up victories in Nebraska, Washington, Louisiana, the Virgin Islands and Maine, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) extended his amazing winning streak today by being named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year. For Mr. Obama, who is not a country music entertainer, the award represents a significant upset since it had been expected to go to longtime country favorite Kenny Chesney.

Oh, hell … stop reading me and go read him. I surrender. This blog will now be devoted to knitting and those few other topics I know even less about than politics, marketing & humor.

Gooruze is a site and a test-case for online marketers

Gooruze is a site that wants to be the Facebook/LinkedIn for online marketers. (Gawd, is there anything more tired than the description “is the the MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn for…”?) So it has come up with the requisite weird site name sent out invites to the online marketing types and given us a space where we can post our profiles and our work.

It seems fine, if a bit generic and I have joined. That’s just a professional obligation — I have signed up for a bazillion of these sites but I actually have found little reason to participate in most of them. (BTW, I have to include a piece of code for it to track my blog on the site, so here’s the code: ConvonHoffman.gooruze.com. Hope they’re happy.)

However, it begs the question: Why should I use it? It’s just started up so I’ll give it some time to get up and running but so far I don’t see any real value being added by the people running the site. Right now there’s a news feed from stories suggested by members — but it’s not as comprehensive a feed as I would find at Mashable or TechCrunch or a number of other sites. There’s a lot of posts from members that unfortunately read like basic marketing communications — informative but basic and lacking any attitude or style or anything else that might make me want to read further.

So why go there? Can they build a community simply by saying they are the place for this community to be? Because right now that’s all I’m seeing. As with many social/professional networking sites it feels like they expect me to do all the work and that’s not going to cut it anymore. The site’s name is an ugly play on the word gurus, but as of yet it feels like I’m supposed to provide the swami myself.

Like I said, it’s an interesting test case. We’ll see.