I’m SOO… Connected!

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While I’ve personally softened my stance regarding mega-connecting as a strategy, a lot of people are still unimpressed:

My first observation: bragging about it is never really very becoming. I’ve become an open connector myself (I’ll do a post about why at some point), but I still find it really offensive when someone suggests that I should connect with them simply because they have so many connections. Yuck!

Second observation: How can someone be “4th most connected”? I know for a fact that there are at least 4 people who have hit LinkedIn’s limit of 30,000 connections, so it seems like they’re all tied for 1st. And the next person, with 29,999 connections isn’t 2nd — they’re 8th or 12th or 20th or whatever — after however many people have 30K.

If having 30K connections works for you, great. Let that be its own reward. Maybe even have it on your profile. But don’t go around bragging about it or, worse, suggesting that people should connect with you just because you have that many connections.

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5 Comments

  1. Great post Scott! I’m one of those that have hit the 30,000 limit and I still get that old “Eww!” feeling when I get invitations or messages from people bragging. It’s hard becuase you want to shout your accomplishments, but it’s also a turn off for so many people that you have to find a balance.

    What I find very amuzing is the occassional email I get from someone with 2,300 connections asking me to send them an invitation because of the value they bring to the table simply because of the size of their network.

    While I recognize the value of expanding my network (obviously), asking people to send you an invitation rather than asking if you can send them one seems presumptious to me.

    Again, great post… you crack me up!

  2. Well Scott it’s been my experience that those that brag most about how many connections they have are usually the one’s that don’t really have any connections. For to say you have a connection is to imply that it’s a shared thing. And both people exchange information and respect each other as vital parts of a whole.

    Those that just see how many hundreds or thousands that they can get to follow them aren’t connecting they are collecting. There is a big difference! So I don’t look at how many followers, likes, comments, or any other of the “numbers” that are thrown about a person has including my self.

    That’s because what I want to do is to connect with a person not collect a number. And that connection should be one that benefits us both. For it’s how the person behind the numbers shares and cares with the the people who follow them that matters.

    So my numbers are what they are nothing but a guide as to how many people I’ve collected on a list. What you will find if you follow me is someone who treats each follower as a friend and an asset to be developed.

    Anyway thanks for an insightful article and if you ever want to follow someone who won’t treat you as a number to be collected and bragged about put me on your list I’m in all the usual places (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+,etc) just say hi and you’ll be more than welcome.

    • Thanks for your comment, Frank. I do “brag” about some things in my life/career… as Will Rogers said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you done it.” My number of connections in any social networking site has never, ever been one of those things.

      As I said, I have become much more open about connecting on LinkedIn than I used to be, because I’ve decided that for my current and future business goals, the advantages of that approach slightly outweigh the disadvantages. But it’s almost entirely passive on my part — I simply accept all the requests that come my way — I don’t really seek them out.

      I agree with you completely that the real value comes from the people who stand out from the crowd by starting an actual conversation, leading to a real relationship. The rest are pawns in a game created by the system.

      Looking forward to connecting with you — watch for my invitation(s).

    • Hello Scott, I found my way here from @anisesmith ‘s splendid twitter stream. Your thoughts hit the mark for me. For my varied social media profiles and guises, professional or otherwise I’ve never “collected” users of any kind – only ever followed those who I am interested in, can learn from, know or would like to know. Kent’s “numbers are useless” quote is also spot on – although I could flavour the “value” point with the “value we can OFFER our LinkedIn network” as much (or more than) what we can get from it. Thanks.

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