Yes, I’m on LinkedIn, and yes, in the past I have supplied even my Gmail password to LinkedIn to let it pull in all my contacts. I don’t believe I made LinkedIn send everyone an email. Back in the days, I had the option to see who else was on LinkedIn (by email address) and invite people to connect manually. I felt bad afterwards that I had entered my password and still see traces of my address book in LinkedIn.
Maybe I should delete my LinkedIn profile and put more effort in sharing details more selectively. Details about myself (I don’t have a Facebook account and try to be selective with what I share on Twitter), but details about my network too, need not necessarily be public. I don’t need others like LinkedIn to make money off the information I’m providing explicitly and implicitly. I’m not sure though, how to balance keeping private information private and have some kind of public profile for others to refer to. Or maybe that should be: for other to exploit like LinkedIn exploits my information currently.
Maybe I should try the old way: link people on my website, endorse them by writing something nice about them and their work, but only if we all agree that’s a Good Thing™. Would you want that?