I have a simple connection policy. Because I have such a public presence (with my articles, speaking, books, JibberJobber, etc.) I pretty much accept everyone who invites me to connect.
I know LinkedIn says to only accept invitations from people you know and trust, but I think that concept is fundamentally wrong. That’s like saying “go to a networking event and only talk to people you know and trust,” or “only talk to people you get an introduction to.” The network event would be very quiet, I think.
For me, LinkedIn, like a networking event, is a place to meet people and give me a chance to figure out if I can know and trust them. It is the beginning. An invitation is like walking up to someone and saying “Hi, I’m Jason, tell me about yourself.” It is the beginning.
I was surprised to get an email from someone who said a friend of his:
“… was bummed when he tried to connect with you and you denied him. I guess his invite wasn’t personal enough. This illustrated why it’s important to put more effort into inviting someone to your network. “
Actually, I don’t care if you send me a canned invite. I think it is bad form, and you have a lot to learn about how to invite, but heck, that’s what my book is for, right? I figure if you are still learning I’m not going to freak out because you did one little etiquette thing not-right.
My response was: