OK, at the risk of sounding like an asocial networker, I keep wondering what we're all accomplishing on LinkedIn. I have to give the creators of this business-focused social networking site a lot of credit. It seems like just about everyday, someone wants to be linked in with me.
I'm just not sure why, or what we're all supposed to do now that we're all "linked in." Facebook, I get. And while I may not enjoy spending time on these types of sites, I appreciate how those who do use and enjoy them. MySpace, among other things, can be a great music discovery site. We encourage our clients, as well as their airstaffs, to create profiles on these sites.
But with LinkedIn, I'm still trying to figure out what we're all doing. I have heard isolated stories of how various people have found a contact on LinkedIn who can provide a specific service. Or how someone recently found a job by mining their contacts.
For the rest of us, however, the fact that we're LinkedIn doesn't seem to be leading anywhere. I also have a social network etiquette problem with this site. If someone I know asks to "link in" with me, I feel an obligation to do so, because by not clicking "accept," I feel like I've snubbed someone who has reached out to me.
Then there are the people who ask to link in, but whose name I don't immediately recognize. As a business person, I start wracking my brain (and Outlook) to try to figure out who this person actually is. And if I click on "I don't know Joe Blow," LinkedIn doesn't pop up a mini-bio. Instead, it rejects the request.