It is assumed that this is nothing related with them wanting to charge money for premium services
The LinkedIn Fast Generator I created is proving to be one of the most successful “features” of this site, and is bringing me into contact with lots of extremely smart networkers in the LinkedIn community, and my contact list and network is growing rapidly.
- Growth is happening almost on auto-pilot, though I always have the choice of which invites I accept based on the industry someone comes from.
- I always accept invites from my blog readers if I recognise them, and the remainder I accept on a fairly adhoc basis depending on the related industry, and whether that connection will be useful sometime down the road.
- The majority of invites I receive are actually very appropriate – that would actually surprise most people because the obvious temptation when people first visit the site to see the generator is to test it out on someone, and I am the obvious target.
Most of the invites I receive are:-
- Cancelled within seconds – some people just test it out and then cancel the invite – no major harm done as clicking through from the email notifications I receive only takes me 5 seconds
- Internet Marketing Related – I have been picking up quite a few internet marketing related invites which are great – it is good to see people in internet marketing using LinkedIn
- General Marketing – I love to receive invites from various marketing professionals – marketing is very much a contacts game
- Information Technology – Probably the largest sector, I now have contacts within a multitude of web development companies and startups. I expect that list to grow rapidly
- Search Engine Optimization – I have been picking up a few invites within the SEO field
- VCs / Investment – A slow mover, but I would like to grow my contacts in this sector
- Local Connections – I really appreciate gaining local connections, you would be amazed at how useful some connection become in the not so distant future
I haven’t received any invites that I would regard as spam. Those users who were just testing and didn’t mean to invite me deleted their invite (I had 2 like that while writing this post).
LinkedIn FAST Unofficially Approved?
I have mentioned in the past that LinkedIn staff were aware of the generator and didn’t see any major problems with using it, though that was by private email. Recently that was confirmed on a LinkedIn Answers thread.
Over the last few days I have been tweaking the script to generate other useful versions of the same invite code, based largely on the feedback I have received from users.
- Improved SEO – The generated links that point to a LinkedIn form now contain the rel=”nofollow” command for slightly improved SEO
- HTML Text Version – The form now creates a HTML text link version which might be more suitable for some designs
- Ugly Raw URL – The form now automatically generates a URL that you can use with services like TinyURL.com – This is a much better option than trying to edit a URL manually. I should note that I own a similar script to tinyURL, and could create a service similar that in some way represents what the link is for. I don’t particularly want to build up a database of 100,000 LinkedIn users, plus there are trademark issues.
- Custom Redirect – I have created what I feel is better for most LinkedIn users who have access to their server by FTP, which is a custom redirect. The generator now creates the code for this as well.
Just Click to Connect
In emails you can thus use a link that will look like this http://andybeard.eu/linkedin/
The same link could also be used for press releases, article marketing, inside Word or PDF documents, or in a signature on discussion forums.
Hopefully you find my LinkedIn Widget Generator easy to use.
If you have any suggestions, or require any help in implementing this code, feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget to share this with your friends and contacts.