Here's a Tip: Don't try to connect with me on LinkedIn 'unsolicited'.

After having to challenge yet another unsolicited connection attempt on LinkedIn today I was inspired to throw some words into Google and see if anyone else had published anything regarding LinkedIn Connections.

I came across the following interesting reads:>

In general I agree with the theme of the above articles and/or the comments thereof, when they say things like:

  • LinkedIn is like an Electronic Rolodex.
  • I connect with people that I know, or have done business with
  • Where unsolicited approaches are concerned, I place value in personalised greetings
  • If you claim to be my friend, and are not, I will generally ignore you.

There's a group of 'LinkedIn Open Networkers' (aka L.I.O.N) who believe in making as many connections as possible and in using mutual connections to expand your 'network' of contacts. Good one, they're welcome to it, but I don't subscribe to this.

Among other things LinkedIn doesn't have granular privacy controls like the likes of Facebook. If you're a connection, you see everything.

With that in mind my own LinkedIn profile is structured in a fashion where I don't mind folks who know me reading it; it's not at the level where the trust level has to be very high, but I don't necessarily want complete strangers privy either.

So I accept messages over LinkedIn; I allow my name and role to be publically accessible (this info is not particularly secret)... i'm not 'closed' but I will not accept connection requests from strangers, even when we have contacts in common (lets face it, the world is smaller than it should be in some respects!). However, if you can establish that we have a reason to engage with eachother, you're more than welcome to approach me with it.

Finally... thanks to because I knew i'd read it somewhere in the LinkedIn T&C before now:

24.”DONT Invite people you do not know to join your network”
25. DON’T Upload a cartoon, symbol, drawing or any content other than a head-shot photograph of yourself in your profile photo;
28.DONT Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that:
PART F: any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation. This prohibition includes but is not limited to (a) using LinkedIn invitations to send messages to people who don’t know you or who are unlikely to recognize you as a known contact; (b) using LinkedIn to connect to people who don’t know you and then sending unsolicited promotional messages to those direct connections without their permission; and (c) sending messages to distribution lists, newsgroup aliases, or group aliases;
29. DON’T Participate, directly or indirectly, in the setting up or development of a network that seeks to implement practices that are similar to sales by network or the recruitment of independent home salespeople to the purposes of creating a pyramid scheme or other similar practices.

Infact can I suggest the above SocialMediaToday article be required reading for anyone using LinkedIn. It'll either be old hat, or you'll learn something.