As Linkedin goes down the road of trying to serve the paradox of allowing people to have large productive networks yet ensuring no one ever receives any email they don’t want all while promoting the heck out of everything, they’ve decided to make some changes. They aren’t good, hence the word Warning in the headline.
First, If you’ve been using the questions and answers feature, be warned that when you give your 25th answer an email you have no control over will be sent to your network notifying them that you’ve answered 25 questions. At least, they did this to me. I’ve contacted Linkedin to find out how to shut this off, but have yet to get an answer.
Moral? Don’t answer questions unless you’re ok with your network being unexpectedly spammed by Linkedin.com.
Second, if you use the new feature that allows you to invite fellow Linkedin members to connect, without knowing their email address, and the recipient decides they don’t know you (after all, none of us ever forgets anyone, right?) you get a black mark. Get 5 of those black marks and you lose your account.
Moral: Don’t use the invite-without-email feature. You just can’t count on anyone not hitting the wrong button, especially these days where any action on a computer is undoable.
Third, if you have invitations sitting out there, they a) don’t expire despite anything Linkedin tells anyone, and someone you invited years before Linkedin changed their policy can decide they don’t know you thus giving you a black mark, and b) if you widthdraw an invitation, really withdrew since they no longer allow users to withdraw invitations, and then later re-invite someone, it counts as a second invitation against your 3000 invitation limit. I have one “I don’t know” from an invitation I sent back in 2005.
Moral: It’s better to be invited than to invite. Feel free to send email to people asking them to invite you. It’s outside of Linkedin’s system so they cannot control it and it’s preferable to sending invitations via Linkedin that may lead to an account cancellation if Linkedin decides to do another retroactive policy change.