For those of you not already Linked-In, this is a fantastic free networking site that is focused on professional networking as opposed to a more social focus such as Facebook. I have found it to be very helpful in keeping up with colleagues and associates. What I find most interesting, though are some of the people requesting that I link-in to them. You know, the people you barely remember meeting that seem to have hundreds of connections on their account.
This leads me to my question, who should I be linked-in to? At first, I was pretty exclusive, only friends and colleagues with whom I have a close professional relationship. Next, I expanded to the people I met at networking events and my best clients. Then I moved on to all prospects I meet. But do I really want to be linked-in to the person I worked with 15 years ago and never cared for?
There are two trains of thought on this. The first is, if you don’t care for the person, would you really want to network to their network as the people in their network could be similar in quality. On the other hand, if that person has a large number of contacts, over 500 in my case, should I link in to them? I don’t really have an answer; it’s just food for thought.