Trying to connect on LinkedIn?

LinkedInOpening up LinkedIn today, I see 77 pending invitations to “join” someone’s network. The problem with these invitations is that I generally don’t have a clue who these people are. It’s time. Something has to give.

I’m not a heavy user of social networking. I’ve never trusted Facebook. I never invested the time to learn how to become a power user on Twitter (I know – lists and search filters, but that takes time and effort). Google+ is one of the few networks where I post things, although my main reason for doing so is to see how it affects Google’s indexing of content.

That leaves LinkedIn, which is the only social network which I take seriously. I’ve found LinkedIn a great research tool. It’s allowed me to get a little background information on a person before meeting them. And if I’m trying to meet someone, it’s been useful to see if there are any common connections who can either provide an introduction or advise me on the best way to reach out to that person.

Since I use LinkedIn as a serious business tool, I’ve tried to be rather careful in terms of who I add to my network. For one, I don’t want to get inundated with spam messages from people trying to peddle services to me, but more importantly, if someone reaches out to me and asks how I know someone, there’s a good chance that I can respond intelligently.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s push to become more social than business focused over the last year has led to me getting inundated by requests from people I’ve never met before. I’m pretty sure I know what’s happening. LinkedIn has gotten really aggressive suggesting people you might know, and I’m convinced a lot of people are just firing off invitations to everyone who shows up on that list.

So what’s my point? After years of ignoring pending invitations, I’ve decided it’s time to cull the list and ignore/reject all of these unwanted invites. It’s nothing personal. It’s just me doing a little housekeeping. In other words, don’t get upset or think that there’s something wrong with you. There really isn’t. In fact, if anything, it’s not you, it’s me.