Ask and you shall receive. I posted this question to my LinkedIn connections:
Are you looking for quantity or quality in your LinkedIn and Facebook connections?
I’ve been reading a lot about why we should limit our connections online in order to actually build relationships. What’s the point of having a billion contacts online if they don’t know you and wouldn’t have a reason to take your phone call? What do you think?
When I posted the question, I was researching the “Answers” function on LinkedIn for a seminar that Brian DeLaet was giving at EduCyber that week. I wanted to see what kind of a response I would get from my 107 connections. I was pleasantly surprised to see several responses come in that day. And, 2 weeks later people are still responding.
The overwhelming response is that people are looking for quality connections. While it might look good to have thousands of connections – and many people have huge networks that they’ve worked hard to cultivate – most people are looking to build networks that will have an immediate value to them. My personal contention is that we should look for contacts that will actually take our phone calls rather than add people who contact us out of nowhere. I’ve usually regretted adding them as they tend to send me lots of “Buy my stuff!” messages.
Several responses also addressed using LinkedIn and Facebook as a way to become better known in their field. One respondent wrote that she got a speaking engagement through a network by making contacts with people she didn’t initially know.
Others addressed a desire to know people face-to-face before adding them to their online networks.
What was really cool was that they responded to my question and are still answering. We forget that our networks are real live people and not just numbers on a screen. It’s good to have a conversation with them, even through email.
Thanks for responding!