You see the avatar pop up on LinkedIn, the same one you saw on Twitter a few times, and you think to yourself 'why not pop the question?' Well, let's say you would not be so casual about it if that were the question.
Does familiarity breed contempt in social networks? Would you just as easily invite the same person to a dinner squeezed between a busy workday and your family?
We all start from somewhere, of course. A common interest, an acquaintance makes introductions, working at the same company, or volunteering for the same non profit organizations are all potential reasons to connect.
How about these lines:
- indicated you are part of the same group (boasting 15,000 members)
- enjoy your Twitter stream, let's connect here as well (assuming connection)
- colleague at someone's company you never heard of (or, just as interesting, at a big university)
- no personalized reason (just because we're both signed up here)
- has done business with you at company you were not aware existed (fascinating case)
- draws parallels in experience and like-mindedness (concluding a connection is inevitable)
- would like to add you to their professional network (collector's item?)
Indeed, we all do start somewhere. Should you be going somewhere together — say on a bus or a train, more rarely on a flight — you'd eventually be getting there.
There's a difference between making connections within a specific context and situation, or just meeting briefly on the basis of a common experience, and wanting to link electronically "just because".
The tools make it extremely easy to complete tasks efficiently, save time. They also make it quite likely to fall into the habit of confusing reporting, sharing, and reading news/information about others with the actual actions it takes to do — whether making history, or developing connections.
Just because many of the tools are free, they do not automatically translate into a direct benefit for all. Just because you can, does it mean you should?
In the end, it takes considerably less to do the work. Connections develop into relationships that enrich our lives. The probability of succeeding is much higher than adopting a broadcast approach in social networks.
Has your approach in social networks changed in the last year?
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