Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jackie Jordan: Linked In

Three or four times a year I get emails from LinkedIn. These emails generally come as a result of some former student wanting to add me to his (it’s always a man) network.

I’m pretty fuzzy on the workings of LinkedIn since I don’t see the need for yet another social networking site even if it’s supposed to be professional. But from what I’ve gathered on other online forums it’s basically a way that you can recommend people as good potential employees. Apparently someone can ask you for a recommendation and you can somehow create one out of the ether (or Ethernet, as the case may be).

The first few of these requests that I received were from decent students. They weren’t in my department but they were workers with a generally good attitude. With each one of those requests I thought about it for a while before deciding that I just really wasn’t interested in being on LinkedIn.

Three days ago I saw yet another request waiting for me one morning, I was absolutely gob smacked when I read the name. Jackie Jordan is absolutely the last student I’d ever add. Jackie was one of the worst students I ever had. He didn’t buy the book or the online resource that I required for the course. He came to class 15 minutes late on the days he actually showed up. I didn’t even see him for the last three weeks of classes. I honestly thought that Jackie had come to his senses and taken a W in the course. That was until I received an email from Jackie’s mom asking me what he could do to pass the class. I couldn’t have been more shocked. This guy missed 90% of the homework and had failed each exam. He wasn’t going to pass. He wouldn’t have passed even if I were a pervy prof with whom you could bargain with your body.

But the real kicker of the email was that he was requesting to add me as his supervisor. Are you kidding me?!?


  1. Ugh, LinkedIn. I detest it. It's not how academia works, and I have little to offer those outside of academia except for nonprofessional skills like playing a mean game of Scrabble. I suppose it's fine if you are an enterpreneur but otherwise, what is the point? I have scads of ignored invitations and sorrow that I ever joined.

  2. I never know what to do with LinkedIn requests. What's the point? It really is a useless tool to me in academia. That said, I see how maybe it's a networking tool for some (although I'm hard pressed to provide any kind of evidence of this)...

    In what way were you EVER his supervisor?

    This reminds me of students who try to add me as "having gone to school together" on FaceBook (as if I were ever a student WITH them in college).

  3. I won't use LinkedIn either. Fifteen years ago, I learned html, and programmed up a nice web page for myself. My own little gas station on the information superhighway works perfectly well, and I don't need another to keep updated. I don't use Blackboard either, because I can do everything it does much better. That's right, I do all my own web programming: I do all my own stunts too, my department chair hates it.

  4. "This reminds me of students who try to add me as "having gone to school together" on FaceBook (as if I were ever a student WITH them in college.)"

    I don't think Mark Zuckerberg's timewasting machine has a "people who are my instructors" category, so they try to make you future alums. Like having a USAAF bomber pilots' reunion in 1948 where the Luftwaffe flak gunners were invited as well.

  5. Just yesterday I attended a presentation by my school's career folks, and they emphasized using "Linked In." I think I'll pass, thanks...

  6. seems to come a bit closer to what academics need, but I agree that some combination of a faculty web profile and a professional web page created and maintained by the scholar him/herself, perhaps combined with some visibility on e-lists and/or twitter, seems to make more sense. I think the main goal, really, is not to have one's RMP page come up as one of the first few hits on google. For most of us, that's not too hard to manage.

  7. is wonderful, for me at least, because it tells you whenever anybody googles your name and finds your profile.

    I immediately began googling friends' names with things like "hottie" and "milf" and "sexy" attached, clicking on their profiles, and yes--they got those messages. So much more fun than it should be.

  8. I'd tell Jackie' "oh I'll add you, and when someone asks me, I'll tell them exactly what kind of student you were."


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