Tuesday, October 16

Why Do All These Complete Strangers Want To Be LinkedIn With Me?

Suddenly, it seems that everyone with a LinkedIn account wants to be my friend.

This is very troubling, as there are something like 15 million LinkedIn users. I only have 67 people in my network right now, and I'm not really looking to become one of those users with hundreds and hundreds of LinkedIn connections.

The bizarre coincidence is that I've seen a lot more requests from strangers since Mrs. Cherizon Featheringcobs (whose name rolls off the tongue like the most graceful of poetry) asked me how I handle unwanted LinkedIn requests.

I told Mrs. CF that I always responds politely and tell the requester that I'm only using LinkedIn to keep in touch with people I know well and work with frequently, or to get back in touch with friends from college or colleagues at former jobs. Then I decline the invitation.

Now, I've made some exceptions for people that seem very interesting -- people whose questions and answers in the LinkedIn forums have intrigued me, for example. For the most part, though, I'm shooting down flacks left and right on LinkedIn.

Now I'm getting two or three LinkedIn requests a day from strangers. I'm thinking of typing up some kind of boilerplate denial, so that I don't have to keep writing the same sort of message from scratch.

LinkedIn still seems like a valuable tool for professionals, and I'm going to continue using it. I like looking over my network list and seeing a roster of contacts from college and past jobs. However, this flackery madness must end!

Penelope Trunk's LinkedIn etiquette guide should be required reading for all LinkedIn users. If you're a complete stranger and a flack and you want to be my LinkedIn buddy, you should expect a link to Penelope's blog and a big fat denial in your inbox.

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