Thursday, November 13, 2008

My network or yours

It wasn't too long ago when networks meant television; purveyors of small-screen programming, ad spots and big shared experiences we could gab about the at work or with friends.

But social media - or maybe the late arrival of the thing called convergence - seems to have changed that. Networks have become more personal - the sum total of an individual's contacts and, to a large extent their contacts' contacts too.

Which is where Linkedin comes in. I've grown to appreciate this community.

But one thing that bugs me is getting a form letter to connect. You know, the default that pops up and says: 'I'd like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin'. I especially resent the mock personal signature at the end.

Yet I still oblige.

I think if you're going to reach out to someone, why not personalize the request? Even if you don't know me, send me something that piques my interest and makes me want to find out more.

And if you want to build your network (and mine), figure out a way to truly engage me. Offer me a fresh perspective. Keep in touch.

Maybe one day you'll provide your network with that big shared experience we've been missing since the demise of not-to-be-missed TV.

(Note: Linkedin is being upgraded as I write this, but will be back soon.)


Parker said...

Martin -

I totally agree with you about using form letters to connect.

If you've really connected with the person, add a personal note. "Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today" "I look forward to working on another project with you like XYZ in the future," etc.

What I find even more disturbing is the ability to solicit a recommendation from someone via a form letter in LinkedIn.

Martin Waxman said...

Thanks Parker. I agree. I guess that's what comes from being able to program an generic response to many requests.