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LinkedIn Buys Rapportive 44

Posted by samzenpus
from the meet-your-new-family dept.
redletterdave writes "Business networking site LinkedIn acquired Rapportive on Wednesday, which is a Gmail add-on that provides information about your social contacts as you e-mail them. The deal was reportedly already in place by Dec. 8, but Rapportive confirmed the acquisition on Wednesday in its company blog. Rapportive, which is still available over Gmail, adds an e-mailer's social networking accounts, including their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and overlays the information over open messages and e-mail drafts. Neither Rapportive nor LinkedIn would release the financial details of the acquisition, but sources close to the situation say the deal closed in the 'low teens' of millions of dollars."
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LinkedIn Buys Rapportive

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  • by Kittenman (971447) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @08:49PM (#39132011)
    I'm on it, but it already struck me as a social network, with a thin layer of "business-ness" on the top of it. The submissions on people aren't authenticated in anyway, there's an awful lot of clutter and constant nagging to get you to upgrade (and pay some, or more $$$). So now with Rapportive (a bit more of the Social network) is it finally out of the closet? And oh yeah, first post...
    • Inflate the share price, and buy out companies by swapping shares. No cash needed.

      With a PE ratio of 1000+ LNKD does not worth the current valuation.

      Coupled with my experience that only 1 out of 10 of my friends have account there, on average.

      • Your friends must have no careers? It's hard to do networking and getting jobs without being on linkedin these days.
        • by GNious (953874)

          I looked at LinkedIn, to see if it would be worth using for finding jobs - concluded that, no, it wasn't really.

          I'm in IT; I'm a Project Manager with a fairly wide experience-set, and specific training and skills. Most things it would propose are far outside of my skillset or level, e.g. mandatory languages that I do not speak, or experience in fields that I have not worked. Searching gave me nothing that was better.
          Looking to links from me to the suggested companies were useless, as it would show links via

          • by AlecC (512609)

            Jobs are found by who you know - not which 200 links on linkedin you might have.

            Which is how LinkedIn works for me. Everybody in my office is on LinkedIn, but it is not used much. Its main function is a contact point for ex-colleagues after you go your separate ways. I don't keep in email contact with them all, but I know that if I want to contact someone I have worked with in the past, I can do so via LinkedIn. Possibly not directly, but via another ex-colleague. The links will lie latent for years, and most will never be used. But the few that are will be very valuable.

          • by bLanark (123342)

            Well, LinkedIn works for me. I'm a freelance developer (C++, Perl, Oracle, Linux,..). I'm in the UK, and most UK agents in this field have at least one person in their office that is on LinkedIn - I'm sure they pay extra for access outside their immediate network.

            I got my current gig via LinkedIn, and it's working from home (UK) for a company in the far east. And every month I get at least one invitation to connect from an agent that is more or less a job description, because they're actively searching for

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Your friends must have no careers? It's hard to do networking and getting jobs without being on linkedin these days.

          Nice to see that linedin has paid shills too!

          In the UK, linkedin is used almost exclusively by sales people to annoy potential customers, sorry, follow up on that interesting conversation we had about stationery ordering.

      • by iamhassi (659463)

        Inflate the share price, and buy out companies by swapping shares. No cash needed.

        With a PE ratio of 1000+ LNKD does not worth the current valuation.

        Coupled with my experience that only 1 out of 10 of my friends have account there, on average.

        This. I've had a LinkedIn account for... oh, at least 5 years, and what have I gotten from it? Spam and... spam, and more spam. All my info's up there and everything, have linked coworkers, employees, etc, but not one offer in IT.

        Honestly I've done better finding jobs by asking around on Facebook. Seriously Facebook should start a "seeking job" section or something, since everyone's already on there.

        Also none of the people I've hired have come from LinkedIn.

    • by LordNimon (85072)

      I've been using LinkedIn for years. I've never seen any nagging for anything.

      • I'm NOT on LinkedIn but every time someone I know signs up, I get a dozen spam messages pertaining to what he or she supposedly does / wants to do / is an expert at. And another dozen exhorting me to join.

        Sounds totally useless. I just block the damned site like all of the other stupid social networks.

        • by LordNimon (85072)

          Why don't you just disable email updates? Like I said -- I don't understand the LinkedIn hate. I get no spam from them, and I see no ads when I visit the web site.

    • by lwriemen (763666)

      How would it have ever struck anyone as not a social network? I've always viewed it as a social network for business contacts. I keep a very business-oriented persona on my LinkedIn social network, which isn't the same as the persona I might keep on other social networks. It's kind of like the "circles" idea, but separated out further.

      I do like the groups feature on LinkedIn, otherwise it's mostly about maintaining business contacts.

  • by NoisySplatter (847631) <noisysplatter@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:13PM (#39132203)

    I have a profile on LinkedIn which has done me zero good so far, but one thing about the site has always bothered me.

    Is it truly ethical to gain an upper hand with regards to employment prospects because of who you know instead of your individual performance or merits?

    To me the site just seems like a blatant promoter of cronyism, promoting the hiring of friends or aquaintences over those who may be more qualified.

    • by linatux (63153) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:18PM (#39132223)

      - always been true. At least LinkedIn is an easy way for a geek to 'network'.

    • In our language, it is called "Guanxi".

    • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:32PM (#39132299)

      Qualified does not equal good worker.

      Nepotism and cronyism can be pretty bad. BUT we are human, you know, and we'll always like personal recommendations. Not to mention that there are good reasons for this -

      If you can get info/recommendations on someone via a trusted channel, and that info says they're reliable and hard working, that's worth a lot. There's no way to get this sort of information just out of the usual two or three hour interview process.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:05PM (#39132493)

      Ethical or no, I'll hire someone whose history I know over a total stranger any day.

      • And LinkedIn helps you in what way?

        I'm curious. It seems that it would be as useful as hiring someone on the basis of their Slashdot posts.

        • by Nursie (632944)

          And LinkedIn helps you in what way?

          Example scenario - Someone I used to work with and respect says that the guy applying for the job is talented and dedicated. This helps over and above whatever might transpire at interview.

          Good interevicew plus personal recommendation wins over good interview in a vacuum. IMHO.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          And LinkedIn helps you in what way?

          I don't keep track of very person I've ever worked with, do you? LinkedIn lets me alert connections to jobs without going through my whole, incomplete, out-of-date address book. We re-hired a tech last week based on his response on LinkedIn. It is entirely possible that word of the job would have gotten to him without LinkedIn, but I can only relay what happened.

          • Interesting. I would wonder if the signal to noise ratio would be worth it, however.

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              It probably depends on your industry - we end up having a pretty specialized skill set, especially in the US. Because of that, we get very few responses even on LinkedIn. It also helps that former employees have created a group on there, so we post to that group asking if anyone knows anyone looking.

    • So you're saying networking in general is unethical? You should erase all prior knowledge of a person from your brain before you hire them?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is it truly ethical to gain an upper hand with regards to employment prospects because of who you know instead of your individual performance or merits?

      To me the site just seems like a blatant promoter of cronyism, promoting the hiring of friends or aquaintences over those who may be more qualified.

      DISCLAIMER: I work for LinkedIn.

      Since the beginning of time there's been a "it's not what you know, but who you know" component. That's never changed it never will. However, that's not how job talent searches work on LI in practice. Job seekers search for jobs on the site, through groups, and through connections. Searching through connections is no different from how searches have always been done. Asking friends if their company is hiring, essentially cold calling. It's all the same, only now I you c

    • by FleaPlus (6935)

      To me the site just seems like a blatant promoter of cronyism, promoting the hiring of friends or aquaintences over those who may be more qualified.

      It's not who you know, it's who knows you don't suck as an employee or coworker.

    • Of course it is ethical. I know my contacts. I've worked with my contacts. I know what they can and can't do. Why would I take the chance of hiring a complete unknown when I can hire someone I know can do the job I need and that I know I can work with??

      Don't blame Linkedin if you don't have any friends that are willing to work with you again.

    • by AlecC (512609)

      There is a smooth transition between hiring someone whose skills and abilities you know and trust because you have worked with them before, and hiring less qualified friends. Recruiting is expensive, slow, and hard work. It is very difficult to judge someone's ability at interview, and I have seem some horrible mistakes made. Recruiting someone you have worked with in the past saves recruitment fees, can be done quickly, and you have effectively had months or years of "interview".

      Realistically, teams of peo

    • lol I just had this conversation with someone.

      Speaking as someone who resisted it for many years--the thing to do is accept the reality of the situation.

      It's not wholly evil--after all, would you rather hire someone you'd worked with before well, or a stranger?
  • or is it opt in?
  • Just this Monday I had convinced Linkedin to remove all of my contacts I'd given them once a few years ago. Now they can harvest them (again?) with rapportive? I give up, where can I buy a fashionable tin foil hat? I don't mind if my resume is on the Internet, but I do mind if the prime resume pimping company is messing about in my private e-mail. I guess the only way to keep your e-mail account private these days is hosting your own mail server....

    By the way, if you want Linkedin to wipe your g-mail conta
    • By the way, if you want Linkedin to wipe your g-mail contacts that haven't linked with you, send them a request through their help desk. It may take some persuasion, but they will do it.

      If you don't want to share information like that with the world, do not upload it to sites like this or (worse) give them your email login so that they can hoover up all your contacts. Why you would trust a site like this with contact info mystifies me, but once it is done, you can never really undo it - they've already plotted your social graph from those mails, and that information in itself is very useful.

      So the solution to your problem is *never* to share your contacts list with a social website.

  • It was a bargain at $15.999.999.

    • I was about to post a picture of pedobear with the same comment title... But you had to beat me to it, didn't you, you insensitive clod!

  • This is the second acquisition lately by Linkedin of a small app that I've come to regard as invaluable. The first was business-card-scanner Cardmunch; now Rapportive.

    Rapportive is awesome. Whenever I get an email from somebody, or start writing an email TO somebody, Rapportive's sidebar shows me that person's photo, tells me where he works, what her title is, what his phone number is, what her most recent Twitter posts are. It's like having a secretary permanently at my elbow filling in the gaps when my br

  • Rapportive was the first product that really shocked me into being privacy conscious. It allowed people to data mine my email and find many of my online accounts, even ones which I've always selected privacy options to not link my email to the account. Seeing as Linkedin members are a product for company looking for employees, I won't be surprised if Linkedin start selling rather invasive background checks on it members to perspective employers. Will have to considering deleting my account.

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