Why Should we Connect?

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Every social network is a little different, and I use them differently. Chances are you do as well. More than two years ago I spelled it all out in how I participate in social networks – some of it for G+ will need updating, but the basic premise is still valid.

When I talk to peers and colleagues of various ages (this is not generational) I learn that some use Facebook only for family and sometimes friends, that chat apps are were the action happens, Twitter is for work and sometimes content/news discovery, email gets mixed reviews – from getting things done, to rarely using it for connecting.

As I said in my posted page, without a reference point on how I like to connect, you will likely use your own settings as context. Which would not be fair to you, nor to me.

Many social networks are all too eager to keep everyone on the platforms checking outstanding messages and viewing ads along with the content – that's how they make money. Which is why they make it super easy to invite someone to connect with a mere click, or to follow others (and see if they follow you) and @ message them publicly, etc.

From the networks point of view, the more activity you engage in, the better. Is that also true for you? Maybe. Maybe when you share-a-lot, link-a-lot, and talk-a-lot your profile becomes more visible. What does it show, though? Is there a cohesive voice behind it or does the behavior look a lot like the spaghetti thrown at the wall approach we decry about brands?

There is a valid reason why you want to be more deliberate, especially on professional sites like LinkedIn – your approach speaks volume about your character. Information is readily available to anyone who can use the Google or Duck Duck Go (my favorite) search box, and/or reads a profile. So much is there, and so much between the lines – who do we know in common? what themes emerge from interests, projects, etc. It is up to you to make good use of it. The algorithm wants you to take an action. How you take it is where the advantage is.

Still thinking that the canned “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is a good idea? What kind of relationships are you developing when you start from that premise? Are you into collecting or connecting?