Yesterday, I woke up to several friends asking me whether I had started a company. Turns out, LinkedIn sent many (most?) of my connections an email with "updates" supposedly about me. Here's the email that went out to several friends who were kind enough to forward it to me.

  Newsletter email sent out to my connections on LinkedIn

At first, I thought someone had broken into my account and used it to promote their content. But turns out that a little investigation revealed the truth. Here's what's wrong with this email:

Turns out, there's another Eduardo Pinheiro on LinkedIn (well, many actually), but this one is the actual CEO of Muzzley (note: I do not know him).


So, hopefully this should clarify the situation. 

Note that the email offers a link to report that this is the wrong person, but it's not always obvious that this is a "mined" article from the web and that the matching is loosely based on the name of the person only.

What I think is missing from the algorithm that generated the email is more parsing of the actual contents to better match it to the right author. The snippet of text in the LinkedIn email clearly says this person is the CEO of Muzzley and the person in question is on the LinkedIn network and has a title of CEO and co-founder of that company. So, LinkedIn should improve its parsing some more. As it is, it is just trawling the web looking for names to match to people. I guess I'm the Eduardo Pinheiro with lowest user ID on their database, so it used "first pick" to match, which is pretty poor. As of my last search, there are 467 "Eduardo Pinheiro" on their database. I just happen to be the first one.

Maybe LinkedIn should look to hire some data mining and AI programmers. They may want to look at hiring sites like TopCoder, Hired or Indeed. :-)