Triming LinkedIn Connections

Posted on November 12, 2011 by


Two years ago I entered the fray of open networker, or “LION‘s” in LinkedInjargon, for a two-week test before a series of presentations


Time for a networking cut!

concerning pro-social networking to management and project management audiences.  My networked ballooned from a rather healthy 750 to over 3,000.

While generally innocuous, I soon found out that not having a “fake” email address or inexhaustible supply of time to address impromptu email spams was a bad mix.  I deleted 75 of the more annoying contacts.  Yet as LinkedIn slowly adopted Facebook and Twitter status updates I noticed that those original 750, plus about 150 of natural market growth additions, were lost in the update shuffle.  While I think it’s great that someone is helping search for chefs or nurses in Miami, there’s not a lot I can contribute.

So I began to “mute” those conversations.  Yet I found that trying to keep up with the muting was an extra hassle as well.

Now, am really wishing that LinkedIn could incorporate a quick unfriend feature like Facebook, I’m in the midst of the painstaking effort to reduce my network back into that natural market place size.  I know this may sound like crazy talk to LIONS but I’ve never figured
out what value is added by having 30k direct connections (where maybe you sort of know 400).  Oh and LinkedIn it’s time to let people remove contacts from the primary contact search – ya there?

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I joined LinkedIn as an early adopter in 2004 – primarily to keep in touch with people I met growing an online education business and by delivering at seminars throughout North America.   I remember the core value from LinkedIn in its Q&A section prompted by colleagues, initial group success and engaging in meaningful networking.   That was stunted with my experiment in 2009 of adding 2,000 contacts in 10 days.  It also coincided with a much more rigorous use of Facebook and Twitter.  I’ve found myself checking Facebook and Twitter daily and LinkedIn once or twice a week since then.

So I’m going back to the roots of LinkedIn.  A larger network is fine.  I just need some context and an opportunity to do something meaningful with it.  For example, I like helping out with an introduction and engaging in some dialog. I did that yesterday with a top-notch professional I met teaching an IT Project Management class in 2004.  It took all of 1 minute to forward an introduction and I was glad to do it.

What’s your opinion?  How do you use LinkedIn?  If you’ve used LinkedIn for more than 3 years, has that use changed (and how)?

Back to trimming!

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