Our very first linked-in poll is being hijacked

Go to: http://linkd.in/X2FpMG to see what is happening, or alternatively go to linked-in/more/polls and then type in “A test for Risk Managers” in the search box.

The poll is to  establish if some basic Risk Management jargon is fully understood by those who deal with risk on a day to day basis.  Hopefully we could then write a professional blog on the data received back.

Invitations were placed in several groups to publicise the poll.  Most groups didn’t allow the polls to be published but some did, and eventually we had three discussions groups running with some very interesting responses.  Those who contributed to the group discussions were professional and funny, as were those who commented directly on the poll page.  Then something unexpected happened! The poll comments were taken over by a group of persons who were more interested in chatting to each other about chickens and music, rather than responding to the poll.

We then made the mistake of swallowing the bait and contacting one or two of the hijackers directly. But the damage was done.  Since the site has been hijacked there have been no legitimate responses to the poll. These hijackers are happily chatting to each other and upping the ante even as this blog is being written (4th December). They are real people, not robots.

It is too early to know what the next steps are.  Possibly enough responses have been received to write a blog on risk jargon, but what to do about this type of hijacking of a professional network? Possibly we are overreacting and have to expect that when one trawls for answers, only garbage is caught in the nets from time to time.

Social networking is new to this company.  Most of our current business is won through traditional recommendations and face-to-face contact so we were looking to use Linked in to find customers in new parts of the world.  We knew we were stepping into the unknown with Linked-in polls but we didn’t expect this.  We live and learn.  The poll is still active and we will wait until the dust settles, when we may even write a seperate blog about the risks of posting a poll on linked in.

For those of you who were kind enough to respond with sensible comments – don’t worry! We will give you the answers when the poll eventually closes.