Battle of the LinkedIn Open Networker Listing Sites, a website and LinkedIn group which helps open networkers expand their networks and connect with other members, last week launched a related site: Up until now, has listed the top 50 LinkedIn members sorted by connection count. Ron Bates, an executive recruiter and obvious LinkedIn addict, leads the tally with 44,000 connections. Anyone looking to quickly grow their network can send connection requests to the people listed. seems to be a paid version of The intention one might have of joining this private site, is to receive connection invites from other aspiring power networkers who receive the monthly newsletter. also promises the ability for a user to list their contact details on other networking sites like Facebook, and 12 others you've never heard of like Ryze, Konnects, and UNYK.

In reviewing the email sent out by TopLinked, describing the new site launch, I noticed the conversation quickly veered from facts and content, to blinding rage. See the clip below:

"Our new service combines the huge network building reach of (we have well over 38,000 active participants in just our group on LinkedIn) PLUS the ability to grow your networks on the world's top twenty social networking sites PLUS an amazingly lucrative affiliate referral program.

And now for the disturbing news.

Just today someone launched a rip-off copycat of"

Now this is unexpected. Not just a rip-off, but a rip-off copycat. Sounds interesting.

"This is a person who carefully hides the secret that she used the service to jump-start her personal network by many thousands of people.

She then turned around and started spamming those thousands of connections that she got through

Spam to join her LinkedIn group.

Spam to join her Ning network.

Spam to share how great she is because her press release was posted on a prominent web site (along with tens of thousands of other press releases).

Spam to try to sell her eBook of LinkedIn "secrets"

Spam to try to give away a "Free" copy of her eBook if you joined her Ning network (and paid $1.99).

And now spam to try to get people to sign up for her direct rip-off copy of the service.

She is trying to position her copycat as the "most cost effective" way of building your network."

Looks like someone never made it to first base in Kickball and is still a bit angry.

"However, she charges almost the same for paid Membership - but reaches over 70% less people than we do - and the overwhelming majority of the people that she does reach are the people she connected with by being a Member herself - meaning it is simply a much smaller subset of the exact same people you can connect with through directly."

I'm trying to look away, but I can't as it's like a car accident -- I must continue reading. Our adolescent rage meter is reading "Jan Brady" levels and continues to climb!

"Short version: By supporting such a person you would be gaining nothing that you cannot already get through

Actually that is not quite correct - based on her past behavior, you would be gaining a whole bunch of spam promoting how great and wonderful she is and how she is "uniting" open networkers (even though her LinkedIn group currently has a Featured Post dedicated to bashing the founder of one of the oldest and largest open networking groups on LinkedIn)."

Is that you Tonya Harding?

"But enough about her and her spamming and her trying to get away with ripping off other people's work, let's get back to the real point of this email...

Monetize Your Networks! When someone clicks on your referral link and joins, you get half of what they pay when they join.

Referring just five people who sign up for a year would earn yourself $125 - ten people $250 - and forty people would net you a thousand dollars."

I checked out the OpenNetworker site, and there wasn't a demo, screenshots or a "free" section. Just a Paypal link.

The service costs $9.95 per month or $49.95 per year to have your name listed.

The "rip-off copycat" is Victoria Blintser, a Florida real estate agent who started a similar site called, charging $8.99 per month for her listing service. Victoria also started, a Ning group which seems to be focused on real estate.

Both services share the idea that LinkedIn members will attempt to "monetize their networks" with referral links, in an attempt to keep half of the member fees generated.

Anyone thinking about paying to be listed on these sites should save your money for now, join (free) Linkedn groups dedicated to open networking, and try the simple methods first.

Do you think sites like these will be successful?

How likely are you to attempt to "monetize your network?"


Do you think the CEO of McDonalds writes letters like these about Burger King?

Nice post, btw

Eric D.

This unique blog post, “Reply to comment | Peopletoucher.
com” ended up being terrific. I am making out a copy to
clearly show my personal associates. Regards-Kristina

Is it just me, or has toplinked been around for a while now without ever offering to share the revenue by "monetizing your network" up until coincidentally at the same time they came up with this new amazing concept of 'sharing', they managed to get a copycat at exactly the same time...? how odd, wouldn't you think?
Now what would happen if toplinked just did business as usual and someone actually took their model and improved it to share with others, without toplinked doing anything different than what they've been doing for years now. I don't suppose that would make toplinked look pretty in front of their members.
I think the above just proves that 'the best defense is a good offense' for toplinked. I think this 'horrible' Victoria person seems to be pretty good in this social networking space, and inevitably there would be people/entities that would go into life preservation mode to survive a natural evolution process. just my 2 cents.

LinkedIn Jury

WATCHTHEPORNO.COM is better then

Thanks for the info. Been looking at joining but never took the plunge. Now I shall rethink things.

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