I joined Linkedin in August 2007, which isn’t all that long ago, considering the fact that Linkedin has been around since 2003. But I still think myself progressive none-the-less. When I joined, I made it a point of inviting everyone I knew professionally to ‘link-in’ with me, and to date 176 people have acepted my invitation.
Interestingly, I found that there are different types of people on Linkedin. There are your ‘purist’ Linkedin users, who only accept invitations from people they have dealt with professionally or in some formal professional capacity. I learned this when I invited a colleague (at a different company) that I knew casually to become a contact. He politely declined, explaining that it was his practice to accept invitations only from people he knew personally and (could vouch for) professionally (and I’m not mad at him).
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the ‘MySpace’ Linkedin user, who sees Linkedin as another social networking tool and is simply looking to aggrandize as many connections as possible, as if it were a popularity contest. I met this guy at a conference, and the instant after meeting me and securing my card in his grubby hands, I wasy inundated with requests to ‘be friends’ and ‘link-in.’ I’m sorry dude, but I don’t know you like that. Don’t know, check.
Recently, I’ve identified a third type of Linkedin user. This is someone you’ve known professionally for years, have worked with and can attest to their professional pedigree. However, they only associate with people on their level or greater (so good luck getting Linkedin to them). I’ve named them (appropriately enough) the ‘User’ Linkedin user because your invitation will languish in their inbox, pending approval, indefinitely. But the minute they need something from you, PING! ‘Invitation Accepted.’
My email has been overflowing with pings from Users. Folks I haven’t heard from in years are suddenly trying to get Linkedin. Now I’m not saying their desire to build professional networks is disingenuine, but we are in a recession…
Perhaps I’ll let a few of them sit for a lil’ while.