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March 24, 2008

No Time for Work! I’m Getting LinkedIn!


Suddenly I’m very popular. Everyone wants to be linked to me. It’s not hard to understand. General awesomeness is hard to resist, after all.


Just about every day, I get another e-mail from someone who wants to add me to their network on LinkedIn.com. They always sound exactly the same:



I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.



You click the link and it takes you to a page where you get three choices – accept, decline or “I don’t know Les.”


Well, I do know Les, and if not for the fact that Les is an upstanding and fine fellow, perhaps this might be a reason I would choose to decline. As it stands, I might as well accept, since I talk to him every day anyway. Just because you’ve done many thousands of dollars worth of business with a guy doesn’t mean you’ve really networked with him – not until you add him to your LinkedIn network!


My LinkedIn requests fall into three categories:


  1. People with whom I already have an established connection
  2. People I just met
  3. People I have never heard of in my life, and I have no idea how they found me.


The ones in the latter category have the potential to be interesting, but they always end with a dialogue like the following:


“I got your LinkedIn request. I apologize but your name isn’t ringing a bell to me. When have we had contact previously?”


“I’m not sure, but it seemed like there was a connection of some sort.”


“I see you work at (fill in name of company – it makes no difference). I don’t recall when I would have had any contact with your company. Do you?




I usually add these people anyway. The whole idea of LinkedIn is that your network extends to include the networks of all your connections, and it becomes like that shampoo commercial where you tell two people, and they tell two people, and so on and so on and so on.


I figure anyone who is that into this whole LinkedIn thing is probably seeking out connections wherever he can find them, so that theoretically puts my name in front of a lot of people. Has this done me any good whatsoever? Not as far as I can tell. As such, I could sit around thinking about whether this “sends the wrong message” or some such nonsense, but since I couldn’t possibly begin to care, I just move on to getting some actual work done.


The one exception, though, is when I discover that someone I know quite well hasn’t added me to their LinkedIn network. This spurs prompt action.



I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.



Follow-up e-mail:


“Hey! Why haven’t you added me to your LinkedIn network? What gives?”


“Oh, I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk to you 100 times a day anyway?”


“That’s no excuse. There’s some banker in Walla Walla who will never know to avail himself of my services because of this.”


“And what exactly would you do for a banker in Walla Walla?”


What exactly do I do for anyone? I’m too busy networking!

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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