Monday, August 4, 2014

Come here! Go away! (On linking)

All social media services want you to connect to people. "Connect, connect, connect," they will constantly say - up to a point. Then they turn around and say, "Why are you connecting to so many people?"

I was on LinkedIn one day, and noticed its list of suggested people to whom I may wish to connect. Often I haven't even heard of the people that LinkedIn is suggesting, and sometimes the person is someone who I don't really know that well.

But in this case, I saw the name of someone that I knew online. Although I haven't worked with this person in a business relationship, I have seen the person's work (the person is a content creator) and have been very impressed by it. In addition, I've seen previous comments from the person about looking for work.

Now this seemed like an ideal candidate for a connection. Although I don't directly work in this person's industry, there's always the chance that a LinkedIn connection could eventually lead to business for this person in the future. So I followed LinkedIn's recommendation to connect to this person...and was asked to enter the person's email address. While I know this person online from several services, I've never exchanged email and don't know the person's email address. So I went to another service and looked at the person's profile. The email address wasn't listed there either.

There's a bit of irony here. According to research, it turns out that the reason that I have to enter an email address to link to this person is the past I tried to link to too many people who said that they don't know me. (I only recall one instance of this, a person who used to work at the poster company, but apparently there must have been at least five such occurrences.)

So LinkedIn continues to suggest that I link to people...but throws up a roadblock that makes it hard to link to them. I guess there's some logic somewhere, but I'm not sure where.
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