Should We Connect on LinkedIn?

Changes in how we interact with the platform.

July 17, 2014

I’m torn about how to handle some invitations to connect on LinkedIn.

As of right now I have 792 LinkedIn contacts. I don’t personally know each of these 792 people.  

Some of these LinkedIn contacts have been made through invitations that I’ve accepted from folks also working at the intersection of learning and technology.

On the one hand, connecting with colleagues in the discipline whom I don’t personally know makes sense.  Our professional networks are critical enablers in supporting our edtech work. A growing LinkedIn network, one that encompasses both current and possible future colleagues, may facilitate future connections and collaborations.

On the other hand, I worry that the value of LinkedIn decreases as it scales. Call it a reverse network effect.

Where I’ve found LinkedIn most valuable is when I’ve used the site as an online professional rolodex.

I’m often asked to recommend people for jobs or for speaking gigs.  LinkedIn is the place where I go to scroll through my professional contacts. The platform can help jog my memory about the right person to recommend, and I can grab work and education details from the site.

As my LinkedIn contacts list grows it takes longer to quickly find the colleagues that I know well.  The people that I feel most comfortable recommending for an amazing gig or an exciting panel or speaking opportunity.

How do you handle this issue? What is your criteria for accepting (or making) LinkedIn invitations?

How do you use LinkedIn?

How often do you go on LinkedIn?  Has this frequency increased or decreed over the years, and why?

How has your use of LinkedIn changed over the years?


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