People who know me know that I am a pretty straight forward person. I don't judge people, nor do I try to analyze the heck out of a person's actions. In philosophy, it's known as "It is what it is, and nothing more." So I recently started taking this idea to heart, when going through my LinkedIn account. Lots of great folks in my network. But after recently contacting some of those people in my network, the response I got from some was basically "why are you talking to me?". It appears that even LinkedIn is becoming the second incarnation of Facebook, with friend requests and likes, to see who can have the biggest network. But how does that help your career?
I think social networking is a cool idea. Gathering friends online, being able to start conversations from a vast array of experiences and opinions, learning about different people and different cultures is all well and good. But for those of you who basically "collect" contacts just to grow your network, the obvious question is "do you even talk to your contacts?" In most cases, I would bet the answer is "no."
I have personally started helping my network, by helping contacts get jobs, find investors, link up with partners in finance and in industry. I really feel that a great use of a network, is to help that network become stronger and healthier. A strong, powerful network means that everyone, no matter who knows who, benefits by having great, productive connections.
I am basically paying it forward into my network.
So consider actually connecting with your network, and perhaps weeding out those contacts who are no more than numbers on your contact list. And consider deleting contacts who don't share your desire to have a strong, helpful network.
Because if come contacting you, and you reply with a "who the hell is this?", consider yourself deleted...