Cry ‘Havoc’ and Let Slip the Open Networkers!
A LinkedIn Social Media Article
Recently I took steps to expand my LinkedIn network by joining a small number of open networking groups. I’d been a member of such groups years ago when I first joined LinkedIn and I was interested to see if anything had changed.
In the past what tended to happen was that you would get a slew of invitations and then your new invitations would peter out. Nothing much else happened. In recent times I have heard tell of the deluge of spam and junk mail that tends to circulate around open networkers and I wanted to experiment to see if it would happen so I could share my experiences with you the readers of this blog.
Accordingly I joined two open networking groups in late May and frankly nothing happened for the first few weeks.
And then one day in mid June when I logged onto LinkedIn I had over a hundred invitations, and the same the next day, and the day after.
Things eased off after that and I am getting around twenty invitations a day now. Once I accepted the invitations what followed was a wave of ‘Join this group’ invitations sent to my LinkedIn inbox. Closely on the heels of those I started to receive a variety of unwanted emails to my main email address.
These consisted typically of either complete junk or requests for me to invite the other person to join on LinkedIn.
The diagram below illustrates the sequence of what happened – details in brackets indicate where the correspondence arrived
So the result of joining the group was that I added perhaps five hundred people to my LinkedIn, possibly five percent of whom are in the main markets that I operate in. To get those I had to manage a bunch of junk emails and invitations that weren’t relevant.
How do I feel about it? I’m undecided at this point. I find the group invitations irritating because they show a lack of thought or attention – the groups clearly held little value to someone doing what I do. Also I’m not sure about the dilution of my network with so many people who are not in my core sectors.
My starting point with networking has always been
‘you never know who might come in handy in the future and if not them then perhaps someone they know’
That said seeing a wave of new connections who aren’t directly in my sectors made me wonder if it was a pointless exercise in numbers over quality.
On the other hand it didn’t take very long to manage and whilst the invitations are still coming in the junk emails and group invites seem to be dying out. Also website and blog hits are up which looks to be from new connections clicking through on my status updates.
In conclusion I would say three things, first; if you choose to be an open-networker then accept that you might well have the same experience as I did and therefore expect junk messages arriving first to your LinkedIn inbox and later to your regular email inbox. As long as you know it’s coming and press delete regularly you’ll be fine.
And secondly; I still believe in a large network on LinkedIn but I confess my conviction is wavering.
Thirdly; my conviction might be wavering but it’s not gone so I’m still accepting all invitations (at the time of writing June 2012) so come over and connect with me - click the banner below and then send me an invitation.
Until next time; invite me!
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- Who should be a LinkedIn LION? (medcitynews.com)
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- LinkedIn Shuts Down Headhunting App: How Open is Open? (programmableweb.com)