If you’re an active LinkedIn user, the odds are good that in recent days you’ve received an email congratulating you on what seems, on the surface, like a flattering bit of news: Your profile is among the top five per cent (or one per cent, or 10 per cent) most-viewed profiles on the site.
The email includes a link back to a personalized letter of congratulations. It’s decked out officiously — blue ribbon, wax seal and all — with the tagline “A stat this delightful deserves to be shared” above a pre-written message and social media sharing buttons. (Notice of the email blast went out on the company blog late last week: “Starting today, we’re sending personal emails to many who have been instrumental in helping us reach this milestone to recognize their part in our journey,” wrote Ada Chen Rekhi, a product marketer for the company.)
There’s no reason to doubt LinkedIn’s stats, but the achievement loses its lustre when you consider the basic math. Total membership is now 200 million, which means that elite five per cent works out to a rather deflating 10 million people. (Seven million of LinkedIn’s users are in Canada, which makes our top five per cent ranks a slightly-more-exclusive 350,000).
But those numbers haven’t seemed to faze the legions of people who’ve heeded LinkedIn’s encouragement and shared their accomplishment: hundreds of new tweets trumpeting the news had popped up in the span of an hour Monday afternoon.