My comments about LinkedIn several months ago generated lots of reader reaction, especially when COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) posted them on their Linkedin discussion group. Here’s a sampling of my responses:
- Every year, it makes sense to review everyone in our network and ask ‘Have we interacted at all in the last year? Is this person someone I’m still willing to help if asked? Is this person someone I’d ask to help me?’ Each name should need at least two ‘yes’ answers to stay in your network.
- The endorsement feature has become worthless. I only endorse people where I have personal and relevant knowledge of the specific skill in question. Just because a casual contact has ‘CPA’ on the profile, do I really know how knowledgeable he or she might be in financial reporting? And I chuckle whenever someone, who has no recent or relevant knowledge of my work, endorses me in a given skill area. Another good idea taken to a ridiculous extreme.
- One of my Core Values is to interact with ‘Uncommon Courtesy’ with everyone. A ‘generic template request’ to Link In from a stranger is like SPAM or junk snail mail addressed to ‘occupant’. I’m continually amazed at how few of them respond to my suggestion to get better acquainted via an email dialogue first before Linking In.
Call me old school, but strangers need to ‘earn it’ first when trying to create potentially new business relationships. LinkedIn is just a high tech, low touch version of what business people have been doing live and in person for decades – getting to know new people at networking events. And far too many people even today network without much style, class or finesse.