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LinkedIn and the Art of Boastful Self-Promotion

Harry Barnes runs a Twitter account called The State of LinkedIn with more than 100,000 followers. On it, he tweets a curated selection of the most egotistical, self-unaware, jargon-ridden posts from LinkedIn members [Editor’s note: the link may be paywalled]. From a report: Recent gems range from the boastful “You call it luck, I call it 80 hours a week”, to the baffling “How easy is it to hire me? I interviewed myself”, as well as the awful-wonderful morning routine which begins “I wake up. Instantly. From the fogginess of dreams, to the readiness of full consciousness…” Humble brags, including Mr Barnes’s favourite, in which a man is pictured playing pool while a supercar just happens to be parked in the background, also feature regularly. Mr Barnes, who has worked in social media but runs the account as a hobby, says the idea is to poke fun at the ridiculous world of workplace self-promotion, rather than individuals. “All the content is sent to me,” he says. “I don’t trawl LinkedIn looking for it.”

Mr Barnes is not the only one enjoying the lighter side of LinkedIn. There is also the @CrapOnLinkedIn Twitter feed and parody LinkedIn accounts, such as the “demotivational speaker” Mike Winnet. Unlike other social networks, however, humour is not the norm for LinkedIn, which has always been a more grown-up, professional place. For better or for worse, that may be changing.


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