Pwned by LinkedIn – Not an April Fool’s Joke

Yup.  LinkedIn pwned me with an uber-facemelt.

Now, before I get started, I want to say that I’m a fan of LinkedIn.  And I have been for many years, as my registration date attests, even though there are a number of things that I would certainly improve and put on that product roadmap of theirs… nevertheless, I like you. So please O please gods of LinkedIn, don’t close down my account (especially since I can’t seem to do it myself anyways…)

=)

Anywho, I was served hard by LinkedIn’s legal services regarding a website that I had launched literally 1 week ago and some change: theLIgamer.com.

The website, in a very quick nutshell, served a very simple purpose: To connect likeminded gaming enthusiasts who had a profile on LinkedIn.

It all started because of a harmless Q/A to the rest of the LI community seeing if there was any interested peoples to start a group.  The response was overwhelming, and within 24 hours I had enough support backing me to motivate me to spend an entire night building a site to cater to the LI gamers needs.  It had multiple blog authoring, forums, a job board, and more.  My development wasn’t blind either; I got in contact with a few video game industry experts, like the executive director of IDGA, and spoke with a few Editorial gaming experts including the Editor in Chief of GameRiot.com, to name a few.

What’s so funny is that all these email and phone conversations I had were all enabled by LinkedIn (I pay a premium $200/year for the ability to directly contact others thru “inmail”).  There’s a strange irony to all of this, but, I’ll leave that up to the readers.

So, the short of it is that I did my research, got some great advice from some industry leaders, spent far too much time developing it out, and then launched it.

Within the first couple days I had more members sign up than I knew what to do with, a couple of great guest posts, and the traffic spike was great.  Lots of personal emails and pings affirming me what I had already known, that we “needed something like this” and “LI doesn’t provide this type of interactivity, thanks!” and “wow, how do I get involved and help make this site world class” and on and on and on.  The future looked bright for LinkedIn video gamers every where!

That was until today.

I thought it was great April Fool’s joke, because it certainly put a pit in my stomach for a sec.  But, no.  It wasn’t a joke.  It was real.  Take a look at the full claim here:

Make of it what you will.  Some of it is rather amusing, but, the bottom line was that I had to respond.   Some quick discussions with legal counsel and a pretty thorough gut-check moved me to comply 101%.  The site’s only been up for barely more than a week.  I didn’t make a dime off of the site (I instead lost money for hosting costs, registration, etc) and advertising was free for members.

So, I hit the big delete button and packed it up.

It’s unfortunate, really, since I had already drafted up a great logo-design contest with the winner receiving *gasp* a $200 dollar gift certificate for a premium membership package to LinkedIn!  The site gathered too much attention too fast… and I suppose the LinkedIn legal department didn’t have enough to do.

So, theLIgamer.com is officially retired.  Dead, actually.  I’ve got a wife and a very cute daughter who I’d love to one day go to college… so, I need to save as much money as possible and not spend my hard earned green on crazy claims like these.

Thanks for all the support for those who gave a shoutout and remember… LinkedIn is all about being professional… none of this unprofessional business of providing services which enhance their member’s user-experience and build deeper brand loyalty without costing them a dime, ya hear?!?

Oh, and before I forget… don’t use their logo, they hate that.