Perhaps My #1 LinkedIn Pet Peeve?

January 20th, 2010 | by Jason Alba |
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I saw a blog post from Thom Singer a few days ago and it really got under my skin.  Thom hit on something that has bothered me since DAY 1.

You can see his post titled: The Misrepresenation of the Power of Social Media – here is his (and my) contention:

5. If you’d like to increase your personal network be sure to link to [name withheld] directly,I have more than 12 million connections, and will gladly share them with you.

Oh. My. Gosh.

The MORE contacts you tell me you have the less value I think you bring me.  If you tell me you have a lot of contacts I immediately think:

  1. Do you have a relationship with ANY of them, or are they just a number for you, helping  you to get to a billion?
  2. Do any of them know who you are, or to them are you just a LinkedIn spammer or LION or some other vague connection.
  3. Are you communicating with any of them?
  4. Are any of them relevant to you, your business, or me and my business (since you are insinuating that having those connections will bring value to me).
  5. Do you have any idea how to process any information from 12 million connections?
  6. Have you ever done a search, or done anything to tap into the value of those 12 million contacts?
  7. ________________________________

I mentally shake my head.  Worse than thinking “so what” I think “you have no idea what you are doing.”

Sure, I’m assuming here, and I could be totally wrong.  But I’m with Thom Singer on this one.

Have the connections, but don’t brag to me about it, or I immediately think you are a noobie.

  1. 6 Responses to “Perhaps My #1 LinkedIn Pet Peeve?”

  2. By claire on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Jason

    Well, you made me smile right at the end. Hopefully no one wants to be a noobie (don’t think they’d be putting that in their LinkedIn profile!)

    I’m reading a book at the moment which calls the “inbetweeners” on LinkedIn “cubs” as different to Lions – more connections than your average person, but still focused on the quality and the value of the connection and the relationship. I’ve definitely got a wider than “just my immediate” connections approach AND it still needs to fit with my idea of who I want to be connected to in accordance with my values and personal brand.



  3. By Jason Alba on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Claire, let me make a quick clarification – I’m not saying that having a lot of connections, or being a LION, is a pet peeve.

    What I’m saying is flaunting it, bragging about it, and including it as a reason why you and I should connect is a pet peeve.

  4. By claire on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Jason

    Yes, sorry if I made it sound like you were! I guess that is where I was coming from with your personal brand fit. My personal brand fit is such that I wouldn’t even think to brag how many connections I have! That’s why I think it is important on platforms to think about what you put and how it comes across to others.

  5. By John Harper on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Jason – I’m in agreement, but I do think that most Lions are worth avoiding. My strategy is to build relationships that can work within the concept of 6 degrees of separation – not to attempt to be connected to everyone on the planet directly.

  6. By Jason Alba on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    @claire, I agree with you. I didn’t think about the personal brand aspect as much as the ignorance aspect, but you make a good point!

    @John, interesting… I would recommend connecting to LIONs who could be relevant to you (for example, if you find a LION in the Bay Area or Silicon Valley, since you are a realtor there, that could be really beneficial to you). Keith Ferrazzi calls this connecting with a Power Connector… there are some differences but enough similarities that I transfer the concept to connecting with LIONs in LinkedIn.

    The problem is, how many LIONs have no idea what it means to be a LION? (a lot) :)

  7. By Steve "Salesologist" Cadley on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply


    Really like your post and think you make a really good point. While I am a Lion (and understand what is means for me & my core network)& member of Toplinked with lots of connections, (I consider myself a very ‘promiscuous’ networker), I tend not to flaunt it nor do I actually share the number if I can help it.

    In large part I don’t share that information because it feels insincere. And so thank you, you put words to why I have hesitancy in sharing the “number”.

    And will also add that if you have a large network on LinkedIn and are not leveraging it for the good of your network and/or yourself you are indeed a “noobie”! Although if we are using made up disparaging remarks I like “touch hole” better. It doesn’t mean anything until we put meaning to it but seems a little more impactful.

    Happy Selling!

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