Today I received a message from a company called BrightCrowd with the subject "Confirm your information in the Michigan directory".
WARNING: THIS IS NOT THE MICHIGAN DIRECTORY.
I looked at the website and they are essentially building a new social network, looks sort of like LinkedIn.
Their website says they "partner" with universities but I don't know if they are partnered with UM or if they are just grabbing email addresses from the public directory.
Couple things I found interesting from their site:
Why does BrightCrowd need Gmail access?
By analyzing your aggregated email data BrightCrowd can map your real-life social network and connect you to people who can help you out. It’s tres high-tech :)
and, from their terms of service
To make the Service useful to you and others: As a user of the Service, Personal Information that you’ve entered may be visible to other users and visitors. This information typically includes your name, title, job, school, skills and location, as well as any items you’ve posted publicly to the Service. Additionally, to help make it easier for you to connect with others, the Service will show you common connections with other users based on contact data from your Connected Accounts.
I'm not saying they are bad, maybe their service is useful. But I think it's a bit shady that the email they sent is intended to *look* like a request to confirm your directory information, even though the body of the email says they are launching an "unofficial" michigan directory.
Anyone else get this email? My recommendation is: approach with caution. I don't plan to join.