Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas card lists

After creating this blog, step 2 was to start strengthening my networks, starting with LinkedIn. And it’s not difficult: these days you don’t have to decide who to invite. Websites like Facebook and LinkedIn seem to find every email address that appears in your email folder and give you the option of sending them all an ‘invitation’ or selecting certain ones to invite.

Of course, given the popularity rule of social media, those potential friends with the most connections will add more oomph to your network, so when you’re selecting who to invite, you’ll also be told how many connections/friends they have.

So here I am going through this long list, and deciding who to or not to invite to my network.

One factor in the decision process was how many connections do they have?

Another factor was – do I actually know this person? (and you’d be surprised).

But thirdly, and, because believe I’m still human and have not yet turned into the sort of cyber junkie prepared to jeopardise all relationships for the chance of a ‘cyber high’, would they welcome the invitation from me?

And how would I know if they would welcome me? Would they ‘accept’ me as their friend?

This reminded me momentarily of Christmas cards and the emotional trauma that some people go through updating and amending their annual Christmas card list based on who did or didn't send them a card the previous year.

I just googled ‘Christmas card etiquette’ and it returned 618,000 results. ‘LinkedIn introductions etiquette’ returned only 50,800 results, but I'm sure it's growing by the day.

I have to confess I’m not going to read any of the advice thrown up by either of those Google searches. I hope I can make my own decisions and, at the end of the day, life is too short to research everything you can find on the internet. But that’s a story for another day.

But now I’m worrying: have I become a cyber-junkie? I didn’t send any Christmas cards this year. I did take the time to design a card and write a nice little poem which I threw out to the wider world and pasted on Facebook.
Can I trust myself to manage my own LinkedIn etiquette without offending?

[And the answer to that question is 'No'... I'll explain why later...a cautionary tale for all netwerps].

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