When Andrew Marcus, the 27-year-old CEO and founder of MyTennisLessons.com, was in need of a new tennis pro for his sports coaching startup in 2013, he immediately logged on to LinkedIn.
He was cruising members with the proper credentials when he happened upon Rosalia Lopez de Alda, a 26-year-old professional tennis player with the Women’s Tennis Association — the same group to which Serena and Venus Williams belong. His first thoughts weren’t about her good looks (she didn’t even have a picture on her LinkedIn profile), but about her tennis game.
“I was curious if I could beat her,” says Marcus, the former captain of the UConn tennis team. After the pair exchanged several messages on LinkedIn and Marcus did some due diligence — such as finding Alda’s photo online — he invited her to bat a few balls around on a local tennis court.
“Do I need to bring Mace?” was one of Alda’s early, flirty responses. But she had a pretty good idea of whom she was dealing with, as she’d done research on her own after viewing his LinkedIn credentials.
The two, both based in Texas, hit it off, and have been dating ever since.
In July, a UK marketing executive’s comments went viral after shaming a man who tried to ask her out for a date via LinkedIn, a professional-networking site that currently boasts more than 450 million members. And while it may not be as closely associated with the dating game as apps such as Tinder, eligible, career-minded singles are using LinkedIn not just to find jobs but love as well.
“If sharing career interests or finding a significant other who is successful professionally is important to you, it is an amazing resource,” says Roy Cohen, a career counselor, executive coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.”
“Think about LinkedIn as a starting point in terms of getting to know someone, first on a professional basis and then, if there is something more — a spark — allowing it to morph,” says Cohen.
That’s what happened with Katie Doble, vice president at staffing firm the Creative Group.
Katie had been looking for a life partner in a myriad of ways: She joined a church, played on recreational sports teams five days a week, showed up at networking events with a hopeful heart and more.
Despite her open mind, countless efforts and massive network of friends, Mr. Right seemed nowhere to be found.
Except on LinkedIn, where Katie spends much of her day looking for business leads. When she first came across the profile of Nick Doble, an area manager at Booking.com, she sent him a LinkedIn invitation to connect with the intention of doing business together. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, he’s cute,’ when I saw his picture on his profile,” says Katie.
But when Nick responded, the flirting began. “It became pretty clear, pretty quickly, that we wouldn’t be doing business,” she says. But the two kept exchanging messages anyway. Eventually, Katie invited Nick to meet for coffee or a drink under the pretense of networking.
“We both knew it was a date,” she says. The date ended in a kiss, and the two wed in 2015 and live together in Denver, Colo.
But before you boot up your LinkedIn app and start firing off requests to the cutest professionals in your feed, know that your advances may not always be welcome.
First off, that’s not what LinkedIn is for, says April Masini, an etiquette and relationship expert. “[On LinkedIn] people should pretend they’re in a conference room before flirting, and then decide if what they’re about to say is best left unsaid — or better said in person, over lunch or on a weekend, where there’s no mistaking work for pleasure.”
Besides, you could be hitting on someone who isn’t available, warns dating and relationship coach John Keegan.
“While anything goes in dating, dating from LinkedIn can be a shot in the dark. You don’t know who is single and who isn’t,” he says, explaining that with LinkedIn, all you’re getting is an idea of an individual’s focus in life and what they have achieved professionally.
“What they do at work has absolutely nothing to do with how they are in a relationship,” says Keegan.
Still, if you see someone on LinkedIn and absolutely can’t resist hitting on them, “Get the personal [details] off the professional site,” says Masini. She suggests exchanging personal email addresses, if the other party is willing. But even then, it’s a hedged bet.
“If you’re trying to turn someone on, LinkedIn is like debate club in high school. It’s not where people who want a date flock to hook up,” says Masini.
But Cohen wouldn’t rule LinkedIn out: “Lots of people meet through work, so meeting through a career site for something more than professional development isn’t far-fetched.”
Gawker’s investment banker went into Univision and said he could sell them a huge bunch of subscriber profiles and ad accounts but does Univision realize they are buying “the roots of hell and damnation.”
Gawkers banker sold Univision a load of crap!
Public urges Univision to drop the deal with rights-abusing, rape promoting Gawker!
We WON! Gawker Media Is Dead!
Gawker.com to Shut Down Next Week
by Natalie Jarvey
Gawker founder Nick Denton
John Pendygraft-Pool/Getty Images
Univision on Tuesday agreed to buy the six other sites that were part of Gawker Media.
The end of Gawker.com is near.
The 14-year-old website will shut down next week, according to a post on Gawker.com.
Univision on Tuesday agreed to buy the six other sites, including Jezebel, Deadspin and Gizmodo, that make up Gawker Media for $135 million, but the broadcaster did not plan to operate the flagship site.Gawker Media founder Nick Denton told staff about the shuttering of the website on Thursday, per Gawker.com.
The closure of the website doesn’t necessarily mean that those employees will be laid off. Gawker.com reports that staffers will be assigned to one of the six other blogs or other roles within Univision.
Denton sent a memo to staff on Thursday about the shutdown of Gawker.com, confirming that its archives would remain. He teased that it could have “a second act” but only after “the smoke clears and a new owner can be found.”
“Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky,” he wrote. “I can understand the caution.”
He also confirmed that he would not be joining his employees at Univision, adding that he would move on to other projects “working to make the web a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information, but out of the news and gossip business.”
Denton also praised his staff for “introducing a new style of journalism” and “connecting with a skeptical and media-savvy generation by giving them the real story.” He ended his memo with a tribute to the site that started it all: “As for Gawker.com, founded in 2003 and mothballed in 2016, it will love on in legend. As the short-lived killer android is told in Blade Runner: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly.”
The news hit just a few hours before a bankruptcy hearing in which the judge approved Univision’s purchase of Gawker Media. During the Thursday afternoon hearing, which was attended by Hogan’s lawyer Charles Harder and Gawker president Heather Dietrick, it was revealed that publishing platform Kinja would be liquidated.
Following official approval of the sale, Univision released its first public statement about the deal, revealing that it plans to integrate the Gawker Media assets into its Fusion Media Group, which also includes The Onion and The Root. Univision further confirmed that its deal includes six Gawker sites — Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku — but that Univision would not operate Gawker.com.
Known for its Spanish-language content, Univision has made strides to boost its digital media portfolio to attract young, English speaking audiences. The Gawker Media deal will boost the reach of FMG to nearly 75 million uniques, according to Univision.
“Fusion Media Group is focused on serving America’s diverse youth with digital-first brands that reflect their values and passions, authentically,” said Isaac Lee, Univision chief news, entertainment and digital officer. “I expect the addition of these digital-first media assets will help FMG exceed the demands of the young, cross-cultural influencers we serve.”
Added FMG president and COO Felipe Holguin: “The addition of these iconic digital-first brands give the Fusion Media Group an inimitable opportunity to scale across relevant content verticals and continue to serve key passion points for our audiences.”
The closure of Gawker.com brings about the end of the popular blog, which, when it launched, took the media world by storm with its often salacious reporting about the goings-on of the New York elite.
In June, Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy after a Florida jury ordered it to pay former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan a staggering $140 million in damages in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. Gawker Media is appealing the ruling, but Hogan remains the company’s largest unsecured creditor. Denton has filed for personal bankruptcy after the court determined that he is responsible for $10 million in damages for his role in posting Hogan’s sex tape.
Hogan appeared to respond to the sale of Gawker Media and subsequent end of Gawker.com in a tweet on Thursday afternoon, saying that “they messed with the wrong guy.”
They messed with the wrong guy brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) August 18, 2016
After the conclusion of the Hogan trial, it was revealed that billionaire Peter Thiel had spent about $10 million financing lawsuits aimed at Gawker, including Hogan’s suit. A sub-site on Gawker in 2007 outed Thiel, who made his fortune as a co-founder of Paypal, as gay. Thiel wrote an op-ed for the New York Times the day before the bankruptcy auction saying that he was proud to have contributed financially to the Hogan case.
In his memo to staff, Denton noted: “Even if the appeals court overturns this spring’s Florida jury verdict, Peter Thiel has already achieved many of his objectives.”
Publisher Ziff Davis made the first bid for Gawker on the same day it filed for bankruptcy, putting up a $90 million stalking horse bid. But the company, which owns PC Magazine and IGN, was ultimately outbid by Univision.
p class=”western” style=”line-height:120%;”>Read More Peter Thiel Pens Op-Ed on Gawker Bankruptcy: “I Am Proud” to Support Hulk Hogan’s Case