Questions and Answers about connecting with people in a different world/space

December 21st, 2011 | by Jason Alba |

Here is a collection of questions I got from Cleo Parker… I’m seeing the question quite a bit more, which is something I expect since LinkedIn has seen growth, especially around the world. Her comments in bold…

>> As a more perpetual job seeker than I’d really like to be and a long time advertising/marketing professional, I’ve developed a pretty large Linkedin network – 600+ (which I really should prune a bit.)

Careful pruning it… I’ll talk about that in tomorrow’s blog post.

>> In addition to my professional life, I have a number of hobbies, the one I’m most passionate about being showing purebred dogs. In the past few months, I’ve noticed an accelerating trend of more and more people I know through dogs joining Linkedin, I used to just be connected to a few “dog people” mostly people with white collar jobs which I stumbled across or were recommended to me because their emails were in my gmail or yahoo accounts. Now, it’s getting to be everyone – including groomers, kennel owners, professional handlers, retired people, and folks in all sorts of jobs not typically associated with Linkedin. I’m happy to connect with them, after all these people are my friends and I know if I asked, they could write wonderful recommendations on my performance on such things as club officer, special awards chair, show secretary and (name the dog topic) seminar presenter.

I’d say this is indicative of LinkedIn’s growth… as it becomes more popular.  I’d wonder how many of these people join, but then find it boring and go back to Facebook where they can share videos and pictures and stories about the dog showing world much easier.

>>  I’m wondering if this is indicative of a trend that you’re also seeing – it was when these folks joined Facebook that it really took off and there was enough going on of interest that I started visiting on a regular basis. But I can’t see Linkedin taking off in such a social direction, despite groups such as “Dog Lovers” that really have very little professional content, even about dog related occupations.

I’m not really close to the data to know trends like this… I can’t say with enough authority about what is happening, but again, if LinkedIn doesn’t provide the social tools that FB does, I’m guessing this will be short-lived.  Whether they should or not, or whether that would be good for current LinkedIn users, is another issue :p

>> Also, do you see any down side in connecting to these folks from a professional standpoint?

Not off the top of my head… but if I connected with someone in my hobby, and they turned out to be spammy, or overly noisy, I would likely disconnect from them.

>> I think anyone who’d browse my connections would just note the ones that seemed interesting to them, such as “she knows the CEO of agency X” rather than looking at someone they wouldn’t be interested in, such as “what’s up with this friend who grooms dogs?”

There’s this idea that we have to be careful who we connect with, as that could change our brand. I really think something like this will be positive, or neutral…. I can’t imagine this being a negative (even to cat lovers :p).

>> Now that I’m over that 500+ threshold I’m not so worried about adding more, but I still feel like more connections is a Good Thing, and of course, some of these people actually do work in fields similar to my own and have connections that may be of interest.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing – especially since they are initiating the request… I wouldn’t necessarily advice LOOKING for those relationships on LinkedIn, but if they find you, I’d say start there and see where the relationship could go.  Who knows, perhaps you might land your next gig because of one of those relationships :)


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