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Monday, March 22, 2010

Struggling With Social Networking

A post I wrote Friday about struggling with increasing my network got an incredible response!  I received a ton of great comments on this blog and in the LinkedIn discussions where I posted a link .  One comment in particular was so compelling that I asked the author if I could re-post it here for everyone to read. 

Below is the comment I received from Mike Klassen. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did. 
I've been wrestling with this a bit myself... more-so with LinkedIn and Facebook. With Twitter, as long as there's some sort of possible common thread (usually in the realm of sales, marketing, consulting, etc.) I'm happy to connect with people there.

I do tend to stay away from the folks whose career seems to only be posting every passing thought on Twitter. I unfollowed one gal who seemed like a very nice person. (She was consultant.) But her tweets were constant. I couldn't figure out how she had any time to work with clients with the daily stream she sent out.

I saw Lewis on the Rise to the Top podcast, too. There's probably a comfortable spot between only connecting with people you know and connecting with everyone who has a pulse. :)

I think what I'm finding these days is that I'm willing to connect with more people I don't know well. The reason is that as my network grows, I may run into folks who need services I don't have direct, personal connections with.

It would be nice to tell those folks, "While I don't know _____ personally, I've been following him/her on _______ and they seem like they know what they're talking about. You might want to check him/her out."

I also appreciate it when people who want to connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook take just a moment to explain why they want to connect.

It might be as simple as, "I'm in direct marketing and see that you are, too." Otherwise, it almost feels like they're wanting to connect just to boost their numbers which is something you can get a lot here on LinkedIn.

I don't know... am I not catching the true spirit of social media? Should I be connecting with everyone who passes by me on the Internet? Perhaps if I had clearer goals in this area, it would be easier to come up with an answer.
If you'd like to read more from Mike be sure to check out his blog at  I had a chance to read a few of his postings over the weekend and they're every bit as good as his great comment here.  Thanks to Mike for letting me re-post this, and thank you to everyone for all of the great comments.  I'd love to hear more of your concerns and suggestions!
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