Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting rich with XING network updates

How social networking sites could be using your confidential information.

Today is time for a post about how to become a millionaire in 5 easy steps.

Okay i guess i have your attention now. So let me start somehow different. Maybe it is not you, but Xing that will become rich with using your confidential data!

I used to be a consultant traveling quite a lot to different customers and partners. A lot of them ended up in my contact list in Xing. So now i have a network of around 200+ contacts in my industry. As i am a premium user i get notifications as soon as something new in my network happens.Typically this is something like a new link between an existing contact and somebody else.

When i stopped working as a consultant these network updates became really interresting. If you see one contact adding another one you can often guess if this is a private or a business relation. If it is a business link you can assume that these two persons met for a new project, sales opportunity or similar.

Ok detecting one new link between two companies is not special. I wouldn't bet a fortune that something special is going on between the two companies. But if you see for example ten persons from one company linking to people from a second company? In this case you can assume that something big is happening. And maybe this is a new deal and could affect share price ??

For individuals like you and me it might be a bit difficult to make a lot of money from this information. I guess we do not very often see strong new links between two companies while looking at our network updates. But think about Xing. All this data is sitting right at their feet. And this is data about all individuals and companies connecting to each other.

Maybe this is their real business model ? Detecting something hot and then buying shares ?
Be aware Xing knows your new project, deal or merger !

For us the message is clear: If you start a large project which is not publicly announced or if you start a merger or acquisition: Make sure none of your team members mingle with each other on XINGYou could set your privacy settings in Xing. But still Xing does see your data. Treat all your Xing data as publicly known. We are just waiting for somebody to correlate it.

How do you behave with Xing ? Are you aware of the information you disclose to the world with each "new link" ? Do you think Xing uses this data ?

Please comment !


  1. So just restricting the usage of social networks from the workplace might not be enough. You even have to educate people what information they could be reveiling to XING.

  2. Nothing is hidden