Strategy Critique – Incentivising Professional Networking – Are we killing the Goose?

Info Edge India Limited of the fame of Naukri.com, Jeevansaathi.com, 99acres.com had launched Brijj.com in 2007 which is a professional networking site built on the lines of Linkedin.com. Though the site was aimed at promoting professional networking and social job hunting (HR 2.0) concept, the initial response was not what they expected.

People jumped in to directly post stupid things like: get me a job. However, the site traffic kept growing (thanks to big daddy Naukri.com). However, recently to enhance the concept of professional networking in India, the portal has taken a strategy to incentivize networking.

I was suddenly surprised when some random people started sending me connection requests and I was thinking probably someone has really gone through the pain of knowing me and wants to connect with me. However, I get this mailer yesterday afternoon from Brijj.com saying:

A trip to London could be yours”. 

Wow, I don’t mind getting a free trip to London. So what is that I am supposed to do? Well not much, just do professional networking. Sounds like a dream. I build my network and you send me to London. Ahmm…well as apparent this strategy is to promote the user interaction on the community and to get more people coming to website, however, it’s going to loose the purpose of Professional Networking. I build my professional network based on trust and previous or present working relationship shared with an individual.

However, by incentivising the networking it’s like killing the goose. My network might grow, however, is it going to be meaningful? Nah, I would end up networking with jimpys whom I wouldn’t have added otherwise. I had to reject few requests already and then I started thinking if this is the right strategy at all??

What’s your thought?

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