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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