I know, this is a tired debate of QvQ (or Quality vs Quantity).
I maintain that different people, with different circumstances and objectives, should have a different position on the spectrum of QvQ. LinkedIn has, on the record, been on the far “quality” side of the spectrum, saying you should only connect with people you “know and trust.” Without calling this position utterly stupid, or as my English friends might say, poppycock, I will suggest that their advice has always been outdated and completely unrealistic.
But that’s just me And I really don’t care to get into the almost-religious debate of which is right, which is better, etc.
In fact, LinkedIn doesn’t even agree with their own strongly-stated advice. Throughout the system you are invited to connect with people you don’t know and trust (importing from other systems, for example).
Anyway, the reason I wanted to bring up this open wound again is that Nick Corcodilos wrote a post talking about his shift from only wanting to connect with people he knows and trusts to connecting with, well, pretty much anyone. Read it here. He’s spot on.
One quick thought: I’m not saying the goal is to get a bigger network (aka, the most connections). But if you think about the online connections like you do an online networking event, you might choose to connect with people differently (and have different expectations of the roles in the relationship).