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June 18, 2012

Why I took 10 minutes off from work to trim my LinkedIn connections down to 400 of my closest friends.

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Experts say 100 or so "weak tie" relationships is all the most energetic, driven and genuinely social (read: "olden days" social--not passive-aggressive hiding-out dweeb social) of us can likely handle, anyway.

Okay, we'll admit it. LinkedIn, as others suggested to us years ago, will stick and it's useful. It is part of the new infrastructure whether we like it or not. Why is it useful? Two reasons: (1) It helps you "collect" who you know, or who you want to know; and (2) used right, it's a way to get people to "think of you" and yours (always important). But you need to use it wisely, and spend a minimum of time (say 10 minutes a day, tops) with it. For me, it's a starting point for relationships--and hopefully a few ideas. But it can't really do much else. It will do nothing for my firm, my clients or me unless, eventually, I pick up the phone and meet face-to-face with you. But it's a start.

And it needs to be managed and be pruned. One hundred or so "weak tie" relationships is all even the most energetic, driven and genuinely social (read: "olden days" social--not passive-aggressive hiding-out dweeb social) of us can likely handle. I just did that. Trimmed. Took 10 minutes.

Just 12 reasons so far in my case:

1. Your follow-up with me was atrocious. Sorry but networking at a minimum should result in both relationships and ideas. Not names and "awesomes".

2. We didn't "stick". Maybe I just didn't like you that much. Or the reverse.

3. I referred you a good client that was not right for my firm. You did not thank me or let me know generally of the matter's progress. Never again, pal.

4. You are the 55-year-old Joanie Leoni and not the 30-year-old one. Sorry. I am famously shallow.

5. You think LinkedIn is Facebook for suits. I don't really date biz contacts. I was kidding in 4 above.

6. And sorry, 4 or 5 dudes, I am straight. Or so far so good.

7. I have no recollection of who you are, how you could help my firm or its clients or how I could exploit you.

8. Reid Hoffman was not nice enough to me at a 2006 New Year's Renaissance Weekend in Charleston we attended with 1200 other egomaniacs.

9. You're from Nigeria or Chad and not the guy or woman I met at the IBA convention in 2009.

10. I discover you're a 14-year-old from Jakarta and I have enough problems.

11. You have never contacted me about what you might want.

12. I have never contacted you about what I might want.


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Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's patient Co-Founder.

Posted by JD Hull at June 18, 2012 10:01 PM

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