Battle of the LinkedIn Open Networker Listing Sites
TopLinked.com, a website and LinkedIn group which helps open networkers expand their networks and connect with other members, last week launched a related site: OpenNetworker.com. Up until now, TopLinked.com 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.
OpenNetworker.com seems to be a paid version of TopLinked.com. 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. OpenNetworker.com 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 TopLinked.com (we have well over 38,000 active participants in just our TopLinked.com 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 TopLinked.com."
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 TopLinked.com 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 TopLinked.com.
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 TopLinked.com 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 TopLinked.com Member herself - meaning it is simply a much smaller subset of the exact same people you can connect with through TopLinked.com 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 TopLinked.com.
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 OpenNetworker.com, 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 NUlinked.com, charging $8.99 per month for her listing service. Victoria also started NUWorldwide.com, 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?"