A Snowman’s Chance in Winning Trust


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There are many ways a social media user can get snowed these days. For instance, while Facebook succeeded in frosting its members by secretly tracking their behavior, LinkedIn has warmed our hearts by sending us frosty greetings disguised as personal tracking.

The greeting comes in the form of Snow E. Mann, an “Independent Snow Management Consultant,” whose profile photo is a cartoon snowman. He arrives to us via one of the cool features on LinkedIn, which is a regular update of who has recently viewed our profiles.

On Dec. 19, when I checked to see who had been viewing my profile, I saw the icon of Snow E. Mann, who is from the North Pole and in the entertainment industry. Naturally, I asked, “Who is this odd stranger following me, and what does he want?” So I clicked on his profile image and got this personal message, “Happy Holidays from LinkedIn!”

That’s nice. While I thought someone was tracking me, I was actually receiving a clever holiday greeting that got me to interact with one of LinkedIn’s many features. It was an especially welcome message after news reports that Facebook has been tracking the online behavior of all of its 800 million members (and non-members) without them knowing. This followed a recent settlement by Facebook involving complaints that it had deceived consumers by promising privacy protection while it actually shared their data.

At a time when consumers are increasingly concerned about their privacy, and often for good reason, LinkedIn’s effort is a refreshing sign of good will.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


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