Yesterday was my birthday. In the year since I had my last birthday, there is no question that social networking sites have made leaps and bounds in their popularity and usage. I am forever getting invitations to join business networks: Linkedin, Ryze, Plaxo…and the list goes on. Most of the time, I bite. I can appreciate the value of having a large social network as a business resource. So yesterday I experienced a new birthday phenomena: canned birthday e-cards, system generated by people whom I have never met, but am linked to via someone I know. I am happy to have them contact me if I can help them in a business capacity – but a generic greeting card? This might be a time when you would want to avoid the temptation to hit the “select all” button in the “send birthday cards” setting of your network profiles. The ecards felt a little like birthday spam.

I sincerely appreciate the e-cards sent by those I know and love (thanks Cale!). I just have a hard time getting that same warm and fuzzy feeling from a stranger who set a dial to tell me “May all may special wishes and dreams come true.” Maybe my special wish is to not get these next year.

Or maybe I should just quit complaining and remove my birth date from my profile.

Beth Anne Whalen

Palo Alto Software, Inc. 

Beth Anne WhalenBeth Anne Whalen

Beth Anne Whalen has 13 years of sales, sales management, and marketing experience. She has worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, First Advantage Corporation, and Raymond James.