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LinkedIn and Connections

January 25, 2013

I don’t use LinkedIn a lot,  but I do try to go over there once every week or two and update my status, add a link, and accept connections.

I have a simple philosophy on connections: I accept them all. I don’t worry if I know the person or not, if they’re a recruiter or fellow technical pro, I just accept them.

My thoughts are that the more people I can touch if I need help, the better off I am. It doesn’t matter where they are, or how I know them. A broadcast for network help is a broadcast that I want to reach everywhere.

If the person is someone I know well, I do take a moment and move them into my A or B networks.

I feel differently on Facebook, which is for real friends and family and I rarely accept friends there.

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4 Comments
  1. There are actually a couple of schools of thought on this. One is that you should only accept connections with those you know personally and have worked with extensively, The other is that you simply accept all requests as you mentioned here.

    In fact, (and I teach LinkedIn Strategies at UW) it all comes down to how you use LinkedIn. If it’s a kind of “Rolodex”, then accepting everyone is just fine. In fact, having more contacts means you’ll get more news and posts from those contacts.

    If, however, it’s your chief source of business interaction with close colleagues, then the more restrictive mode is probably better suited.

    In short, there really is no right and wrong to it – it’s your personal style of interaction.

    • Completely agree. I know some people that want to limit their connections.

      Personally I accept all, but I classify very few (< 20) into an "A" group and those that I know well (about 80/750) into a "B" group. I can limit communications if I need, but there are lots that I don't necessarily know or remember, and I just accept.

      It definitely comes down to how you view/use LinkedIn.

  2. Dave Zapcic permalink

    Well put Steve. Personally, I don’t spend as much time on LinkedIn and I’m fairly new to it, but I do tend to accept all connections. I share your opinion on reaching a wider network. I also keep Facebook for close friends and family. I do have some coworkers on there but they are in a separate group with restricted views. Twitter is one that I keep absolutely wide open. To me, that’s the most valuable of the social networks professionally. My reach through all of those that I’ve met on Twitter is much farther reaching than if I were to rely on my own known connections. Thanks for the article!

    • Twitter is kind of amazing. It definitely is my “go to tool” for reaching people and hearing about what people are doing in our business.

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