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by SixFigureStart | June 29, 2009


LinkedIn is the social network geared toward professionals, right? So when the company asked a cross-section of members -- translators, thousands of them -- to translate the site into several different languages for free, feathers were definitely ruffled.

Through a survey, LinkedIn gave respondents several options (none financially-based) as potential alternative payments for their services, including "an upgraded LinkedIn account and none ('because it’s fun')," according to the New York Times. Who wouldn't be a little PO'ed? Is LinkedIn trading a bit too much on the "relationships matter" idea behind the site? (Perhaps this is the digital equivalent of getting cheapo auto service from your mechanic cousin, or LI Iced Teas from your aunt who works at TGIFridays?)

The web site says it's all a big misunderstanding -- it was only trying to gauge how a crowdsourcing-type arrangement would work such a project, and was quick to point out that it already has a group of interpreters employed. (Google and Facebook both met with similar accusations from their members under similar circumstances.) And in fact, some translators were warm to the idea, thinking the high-profile exposure (and a hard-to-come-by online credit) would net them more lucrative gigs. But most felt slighted and unappreciated, much like the rest of us these days, whether employed or not.

--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer


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