Just read an article regarding quality of interaction on linkedin ,in terms of network enhancement.In that article ,the author has shown the images of invitations from "unknown/ known" person to "unknown" person ,requesting for adding to professional network. Sounds funny ?
Projected morale of the story/article is :-why should we accept invitation from unknown person and let them have access to everything we share on a closed network ?
Fine, let' us now ask ourselves a simple question:)
Why we spend hours on professional /social networking sites ? There must be some objectives and what those could be :-
Ok, let me tell you about myself-i do networking on various professional and social platform for :-
1.Exchange relevant information, pertaining to my area of interest ! It could be both at personal as well as professional level.It could be as simple as publishing ,what i am eating now but what is the harm, if that gives me some peace of mind ?
2.Share the content of my blog , i have established through hard work and dedication.People reading and may be commenting on what i have created, give me a sense of accomplishment !
3.For making some money in that process of creativity, primarily for compensating the
a.Blog maintenance expenditure ( i use Typepad with a substantial monthly fee ) and
b.Time spent on shaping up the articles. ( Am i not squeezing it in somewhere else ? )
So , the simple formula of networking is :- more contacts - more exposure - more satisfaction and more money , wherever applicable ( Who does not want money ? ). However, the size as i said, depends on individual's specialty !
4.Being an Executive Search professional, i am constantly on the look out for the right talent for my clients. So a controllable volume of networking, increases the chances of identifying the candidates of my choice.This applies to the people on the other side of the table as well, i mean job seekers.
So, ultimately these networking processes converge to an optimum combination of professional enhancement and Personal satisfaction.The right mix of this combination varies from person to person.
Coming back to the point now :-
When i receive invitation from an unknown person, took up the trouble of having a quick glance at his profile and decide then & there, whether to accept or not.It does not take more than a minute even.So what's the harm ?
When i started expanding my network , what else i could have done, then sending invitation to unknown people ? But, i certainly studied the profiles of the target audience and did add some professional content with a personal touch, like clearly mentioning their name in the email etc.
More than 90% of the audience replied back.If they had thought otherwise, i would not have received such an overwhelming response.I think , its the positive thinking of individuals, that matters most in any transaction, be real or virtual ! We should not block the communication process entirely but install the right filtering mechanism for separating out the spams !!
So, sending a blank invitation may not be appropriate ( is stupidity? ) but a well researched email is certainly an act of intelligence.