Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How I Became A LinkedIn Whore

By 

Just one click and suddenly I had invited 648 people—many of them strangers– to join my LinkedIn network. As my computer screen madly scrolled with acceptances, I sat there embarrassed by my new, elite networking status—I now belong to the 500+ connections club.

Just as I had been duped by Facebook years ago, allowing them to access my email list and invite people to see my photos, LinkedIn had now hoodwinked me in a similar fashion.

After years of politely asking strangers seeking to connect how it was that I knew them, I now looked guilty of prostituting myself to hundreds of people for the sake of appearing really connected. Ugh.

Nor did I customize any of the 648 invites, avoiding the generic “I’d like to add you to my network” wording—something I had done consistently in the past in an effort to make my invitations more personal.

What was interesting is how many people said yes. In less than 10 minutes, I had 80 acceptances. Many were from people I knew, but several were not—they were connections of connections, i.e., strangers. By day three of my Linking nightmare I had more than 200 acceptances and the LinkedIn sidebar informed me that I was now connected to more than 10 million professionals. That means I theoretically “know” more people than the entire population of New Jersey, the 11th most populated U.S. state.

This Pavlovian response to LinkedIn invitations defeats the entire idea behind creating an effective network. Only two people wrote and questioned the invitation and in both cases I explained my mistake and suggested they decline. Everyone else either blindly clicked “accept” or ignored the invite. In a handful of cases people used it as a sales opportunity: how can we help you?

Whether you are gaming the system or not, mining emails to grow your network through other people’s second and third connections is diluting the benefit of LinkedIn. If someone sees that I am connected to a venture capitalist and asks for a warm introduction, am I going to do that for a complete stranger? No.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/how-i-became-a-linkedin-whore-0438508#i6giMdv27xQDVVe1.99 

No comments:

Post a Comment