Individuals & Interactions over Processes & Tools

Individuals & Interactions over Processes & Tools

It’s pretty exciting to hear that LinkedIn just reached over 100 million users.  Upon review this morning, my LinkedIn profile stated that I have 149 connections, adding it links me to 3,156,950+ professionals.  Unfortunately, I believe a tool is only as good at the individual(s) using it.  I’ll admit, I don’t really get LinkedIn.  I don’t leverage it the way it was probably intended.  To me, it’s an online resume with connections to people who I should have some kind of affiliation with.  I think of it more as Classmates.com for business.  I actually have a majority of my LinkedIn contacts as a result of an extended Fail Whale that happened on Twitter last year.  Twitter may be great for interactions but it’s not so great as a professional contact management tool.

A few days ago, I received a LinkedIn connect request from someone I interact with on Twitter.  She wrote

Derek, Would you have any interest in connecting on LinkedIn? I went to send an invite but for some reason the option isn’t there!

Since we’ve interacted on Twitter and share some professional affiliations, I figured I’d add her to my LinkedIn connections.  I logged into LinkedIn to send her the  connection request and realized why she did not see the option.  The LinkedIn user interface had recommended she connect with me, though we were already connected.

 


In the end, we just laughed it off. We’re still following each other on Twitter. We’ve reaffirmed that we’re connected via LinkedIn. But, it raises an interesting question.  How useful is an interaction tool if you don’t interact with other individuals?  How useful is have connections, if you don’t connect with them?

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8 Replies to “Individuals & Interactions over Processes & Tools”

  1. Having connections isn’t useful if you don’t connect or interact with them. It’s just having a stranger on your LinkedIn connections page, and that’s about it.

    I do my best to stay in touch with people with varying degrees of success. I haven’t mastered using LinkedIn to do that; my two strongest suits are on Twitter and commenting on people’s blogs. I also often wonder why people choose to connect with me on LinkedIn since I’ve had a decent amount of connection requests. Most of them seem to be involved in project management in some form or fashion, but most of the connection requests contain the generic copy, and therefore I don’t know why they want to connect with me specifically.

    Aside from managing the PMI Educational Foundation LinkedIn group, I only use it as an online resume as well.

    1. Andy,
      If I don’t know who the person is, I usually respond back and ask how the heard of me. I’ve met people at a conference or at training and just didn’t get a card. Others just seem to come out of nowhere. If I ever get to that 500+ level on LinkedIn, I hope it’s with people I’ve actually met or interact with online.

    1. Hey! The person I commented about on you blog was not the same person from my blog post. I’m still frustrated by the “value” LinkedIn provides. I feel there is something I’m not getting that so many others are. Am I missing something?

  2. Thanks. This is so true. I’m experiencing the same with Xing (about the same as Linkedin but more popular in the german speaking world). The platform is incredibly powerful, with all kinds of features and options, but is there even time to actually use all that stuff? Or to even know all of the features. I just don’t have time to read all the newsletters of all the different platforms informing me about new and cool features.

    1. I thought I was an early enough adopter of LinkedIn to find extra value in it. I see value for potential employers to verify employment or view business associations.

  3. I totally agree. I’ve also been trying to figure out where I can reap the benefits of LinkedIn beyond the online resume. I thought it is always good to expand my network because you never know when you might be looking for a position in a certain company and one of your connections can help link you closer to to it. I used to think the LinkedIn groups were great for connecting but there are just so many of them for PM’s that I can’t keep up and have to wade through the spammy self promotion type stuff in there to find the quality that I’m looking for.
    I actually still think that the LinkedIn Q & A section is decent, a nice way to poll a huge community and get a great variety of answers. But yeah, I agree with only connecting with people that I really have some online or offline connection to. If we share a LinkedIn group, that’s not good enough for me…I’ll just find my LinkedIn feed clogged with people that I forgot how I even knew!

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