My history of “social networking” and “online networking” and other such networky things is patchy at best. I have rarely had a good experience with them. I have been in and out of ecademy several times, including paying and for free. I’m currently not using ecademy or any of the other services but a LinkedIn invitation email from Nick made take another look at this particular service (or rather reminded me it existed).
The funny thing is out if all of them it seems to get marginally more respect but has done the least for me personally. At least I can say about ecademy that I met some cool people. LinkedIn has up to now just been a source of invitation request emails and nothing more.
Regardless of what it is meant to be in actual fact it seems to be mostly
- A game where the person who acquires the most contacts wins
- A game where the person with the most influential/famous contacts wins
- A system where you can “spam” strangers
While there is plenty of evidence for the third option if they are in fact wanting people to grow their networks as in the first two options then the clunky system for adding contacts needs some work. The barriers to a smooth network growth says to me that LinkedIn don’t really want it being used that way.
It should be a simple case of “I would like to connect with you, ok? y/n”. For example wouldn’t it be nice if on my blog side bar I could have a “Connect with me on LinkedIn” button that would take you to a simple form for adding to my network? Perhaps with a “approve/reject” email? I can’t see any way to do that, it seems people need either an introduction or to already know my email address. Of course I am not paying for the fee-based service, perhaps £10 a month (and up) would buy me that. Without a bit more evident value I am not going to pay to find out.
There is a real possibility I just don’t get this stuff. I’m not really a “networker”, online or especially offline. Some people really click with this stuff but it never has with me and is unlikely to.
Anyways, if you are using LinkedIn check out my profile and perhaps let me know what it’s good for?