Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LinkedIn A.D.H.D.

Blink:
Engagement is the Buzz du Jour among social networkers on LinkedIn. Interesting, as I begin a new year and review my LinkedIn connections, especially those that I made online, I am beginning to recognize the occurrence of
LinkedIn A.D.H.D.

Read On:

A.D.H.D. is the psychiatric term for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. So how does that relate to LinkedIn? Think about how many new people you connected with via LinkedIn a year ago with whom you are still actively engaged. I can only think of a handful, all of whom are great people. The remainder of my 2010 connections have evaporated. Otherwise, to my point, online connections appear to have a different engagement shelf life than engagement with people we meet in the real world – neighborhood, associations, church, synagogue, mosque, health clubs, etc.

Are you experiencing LinkedIn A.D.H.D.? Please share your stories.

14 comments:

  1. Jimmy,

    Related to contact ADHD is the obsession with the number of contacts (which you have covered well in past postings) along with the need for fawning references.

    I recall hearing about the HR person who wouldn't interview someone unless they had 10 LinkedIn references. Stories like this and resulting actions have, of course, diluted the meaning of any reference posted, as well as negatively impacting on the person giving the reference.

    As you point out, it isn't the number of contacts, it is the quality. It isn't the number of references, it is who provides them. Isn't it funny when yesterday's "hit" becomes today's "error?"

    Bob

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  2. Completely agree! I'm beginning to think that people are using LinkedIn (and other social media) because it makes them feel as though they are doing *something* and then forgetting the rest - like the actual *doing something*.

    LinkedIn is great, as long as you back it up with some real connections. He who dies with the most contacts on LinkedIn doesn't necessarily win.

    Working on an article about it now.

    Sorry we missed some f2f time this month!

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  3. Love this article Jimmy. Short and to the point. You're spot on with your analysis of your LinkedIn Connections. I'm seeing the exact same thing. I think people should put more time into LinkedIn as it really is an undervalued tool with so much potential!

    Best,

    Ryan Taft
    http://www.CatalystMarketers.com

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  4. Jim, I always enjoy reading your reflections. Linkedin is a fabulous business networking tool if used judiciously. My rule is to never "link" with anyone I have not met in person or have not (at minimum) had a decent and meaningful phone conversation with. "Networking" to become a LION, has no apparent value, however being able to share opportunities among my network has been extremely valuable to both the job seeker and job offerer. I also find it helpful when researching someone I do not know, but want to approach.

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  5. I agree with Lisa above in my philosophy for connecting only to someone I know enough to refer or at least will meet for coffee. I like this post as I never thought of social network shelf life which is an interesting topic. I am going to guess this may be generational as social networks are a way of life for my students in class. I'm going to ask them about this.

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  6. I tend not to connect with someone whom I don't have some other connectivity -- even if it's just a "meeting-of-the-minds" on LI. And invitations to link that I feel are one-way and/or "canned", I tend to reject. IMO, the site has changed and, in some regards, become "sad" as I perceive more discussions that lack focus, perspective and tend to be self-serving. While I do have some "friendships" made online, I'll take an RL connection any day of the week!
    Dan Gersten

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  7. Great read as usual... I see a couple of things with this ADHD:
    - People confuse LinkedIn with Facebook. FB is all about amassing whereas LinkedIn is about filtering.
    - Some people were never taught effective networking. I myself will always be an eternal student because it's a practiced behavior for me as opposed to a "gift" which Amir leverages to his benefit.
    - LinkedIn has not done a good enough job of differentiating itself as more than a professional FB.

    The list goes on...

    Best,

    Parissa Behnia

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  8. Au contraire, my friend. Relationships---online or otherwise---need to be nurtured and expanded, or else they will go into dormancy. I won't disagree that there is and can be some ADHD going on with some LI users, but as long as you maintain a certain level of contact with your network (like your excellent blog, for example) they will not forget you. I have reached out to some who I haven't talked to in a decade and the relationship re-kindles immediately. I guess it has to to more with QUALITY than with QUANTITY. At least that's how I see it...

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  9. There was too much, too new, too techhie driven, all at one time. Social media speakers have been in high demand since the drive to get everyone feeling guilty for not using Facebook, Facebook business fans, twitter, youtube, Linked In, etc. All good mediums, but can never replace the personal touch through a telephone call or face-to-face meeting.

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  10. Seth Godin posted a blog piece last week that asked the question of whether we're on these various social media platforms because it's helping us move our goals forward, or because it's allowing us to placate that sense of fear we might have of rolling up the sleeves and getting the work done.

    As with most practices, I think it's important to always question why you're doing it, what value it provides. Without such reflection, we're simply putting ourselves at risk of increasing the level of busyness we add to our lives.

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  11. Jim, Thank you for your post. I hadn't thought of it as ADHD, but rather linkedin information overload. It seems that today compared with a couple of years ago, you have to sift through more and more spam on LinkedIn, not just in your own inbox, but in all of the digests that you subscribe to.

    It becomes more noise than anything.

    thanks for your thoughts!

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  12. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. I believe we are all in agreement that LinkedIn when managed properly is a valuable tool. Based on this thread of conversation, 11 comments in total, 8 are from people I have engaged with online or by phone and even have met live thanks to LinkedIn. To me that points to the value of extending one's Tribe thanks to this professional networking tool. I also know that all 11 of you people understand the time and commitment LinkedIn takes: http://bit.ly/c9LNtG Once again thank you for your comments.

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  13. Hi Jim,

    You know my definition of networking when it comes to LinkedIn(its all about strategic networking). Its all about helping your network and picking the right strategic alliances. I agree with everyone that its not about quantity but more about quality. Most of my LinkedIn connections are in Chicago (where bulk of my business is based) and the non active LinkedIn connections get removed (by yours truly) if they are not responsive in over 9 months (specially those who I have sent 1-3 connections to). Courtesy of one of my connections here in Chicago and as a result of my help to her, she nominated me to sit on a panel of her association (IFMA - Facilities Management) to talk about strategic networking and strategic business development. FB and LinkedIn are 2 different platforms and the applications are different as the audience might be different. Choose what works best for your business and don't connect just to anyone!

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