You may have heard of the LinkedIn open networker (LION) but have you also come across the LInkedIn lazy operator (LILO). This individual sits behind their computer and purports to be a well connected individual with a wide network.
It’s well documented that I am not a fan of the LION but at least they try and connect with a meaningful reason to do so. The LILO is a bit less discerning and will press connect at every opportunity. LinkedIn is constantly suggesting that we ‘may know’ someone on our home page. This is based on that you may know some of the contacts of the person you have just connected with. By clicking ‘see more’ under the list of ‘people we may know’’ provides a huge list of possible contacts and can only imagine that this is ‘heaven for the LILO.
Pressing connect sends an invitation to the contact without the usual prompting from LinkedIn as to how you know them. To me; the big giveaway is the heading ‘people you MAY know’ but maybe I am being too harsh on the LILO, after all they are probably on a mission to obtain the 500+ badge on LinkedIn.
I recently attended a networking event and was approached by someone who I knew. They excitedly informed me that they were really proud of the fact that they had surpassed the 500+ LinkedIn contacts threshold. They then immediately followed this statement by admitting that they did not know them all.
Another recent introduction to a LinkedIn user produced an interesting insight. They informed that that they were very proficient with the platform (Three tell tale signs on their profile page tells me otherwise) and had over 800 contacts. Further questioning from me revealed that they only knew 30% of the contacts. That’s at least a whopping 560 people they do not know.
Both the above instances are people who are mistakenly building a database thinking that they are building a network. Both individuals will struggle to introduce their contacts to each other as they do not know them. The driving force behind LinkedIn is the ‘six degrees of separation’ principle and unfortunately the above kind of activity ‘breaks the chain’.
What they don’t know is that they are damaging their own brand when it comes to networking and the real networkers will stop connecting with them.