I recently received an email from a stranger asking me to send them a LinkedIn invitation. This is a complete breach of online etiquette, and creates a problem where there is none.
When you join LinkedIn, you get 3,000 initial invites. (If you send them often to people you don’t actually know, and they indicate in their response they don’t know you, you may find yourself having to enter email addresses to send out your invites. You can get this restriction removed by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If you manage to burn through your initial 3,000 invites, you can contact LinkedIn and ask for more every thirty days! There is no reason that requires asking someone else to send you an invite. In the real world, this could be seen as the equivalent of asking someone you don’t know to buy you a cup of coffee.
Also, as an aside, the person who sent me this email sent it to a large number of people. How do I know? They included everyone’s email address in the ‘to’ box! Please, please, please use the ‘blind carbon copy’ (bcc) feature when sending out mass emails to protect the privacy of those involved. It will be appreciated.