Cons Me

Thanks for the vouch. Did you look at the platform on which you are recommending me?

Or did you do it on BranchOut, or – simply because they lead you to do it, and make it a seconds-per-rope-in-each-friend operation, rather than, say, a LinkedIn recommendation which should require much more thought…? just 3 clicks per friend to “endorse

(and perhaps that’s not a good thing)

Hey, Apps, leave my friends alone!

Scam applications may tell you that you can find out who your top 10 stalkers are on Facebook and how many hours you’ve spent on Twitter.  The intention is to gain access to your social networking account, so that internet marketers can the can spread their links virally, and drive traffic to their money-making schemes.  Via you.

You would think people would be wary of allowing a third-party app, which doesn’t explain its intentions and doesn’t explain who’s behind it, from gaining access to their Facebook or Twitter account. (Credit: Graham Cluley – sign-up rush exposes risky behaviour of social networkers )

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But that’s exactly what hoards of people seem to be doing right now with

They got me! spam invites suggested I vouch for people, and I did. It never told me they’d LinkedIn message them, though.

Wont you vouch for your friends?  Well, why wouldn’t you?  As you can see from the screenshot to the left, right out of my LinkedIn “sent messages” tab, though did not tell me that they would inform those I recommended via a LinkedIn message – that’s just what they did.

Just as I recently cried foul in regards to Facebook group invites (group inflictions, I called them, since you don’t actually invite to groups in Facebook – but force people into them), and contrasted with LinkedIn group invites, sites need to get called out for using our application authorization – to spam our friends.

If you follow the link and reserve your name, you are led to link the site with your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account.  You are reading the blog of the sucker who went fell for the LinkedIn connection route.  In my own defense, similar to Branchout, and CommonRed, I expected this “professional networking site” to draw profile data from LinkedIn to flesh out my profile.

What’s more, several close friends of mine had “vouched for me” – and I had a slew of Twiter DMs, emails, and Facebook messages backed up, all informing me that so-and-so had vouched for me “to get me early access to”  How could I go wrong…?  I wanted that early access, right, and if they thought it was a thing to dive into…?  And I did like those warm DMs, Facebook messages and LinkedIn messages, along with a few emails, letting me know that friends vouched for me. is declining to give away any information about what they mean to become, describing themselves as “a better way to manage your social connections” but candidly noting that they’re unwilling to tell you a damn thing about themselves or what intends to become, when finished.  In fact, they flat out tell us that it’s currently “in ninja stealth mode“: is crafty, lures us with vouching

Ninja Stealth Mode (read: don't even ask us who we are or what we're up to)

I got conned, but must say that I am more than a little uncomfortable with our willingness to join a service which potentially exposes our social networking accounts – while we have no idea what it is we’re signing up for.  It was this Twitter conversation that got me thinking (and then later, a LinkedIn connection letting me know that I had just allowed LinkedIn to message him automatically – scary): vouches gone viral vouching: “…but I did it anyway”

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