About Penelope’s 7 Rules of LinkedIn Etiquette

July 24, 2007

I’m posting to talk about Penelope Trunk’s post about 7 rules on Linkedin posted in her blog and in the official linkedin blog. I agree with her in some topics but I don’t agree in others. Truly, there are two issues I don’t agree with her, while all the others we think in the same way, but although one of those issues are not so important I guess the other one is actually very important.

 

I think something very important she says in her first rule: “Don’t say yes to an invitation from a person you don’t really know”. When I started using Linkedin, I received some invitations from people I didn’t know just asking me to be a direct connection, I made the mistake to add them because I don’t have much experienced in this kind of website but some time later I realized that I didn’t want to receive invitations from anywhere that could not answer me my welcome message where I introduce myself and ask to the other to tell me about himself/herself and that never contact me in this time I stay connected with them. This kind of users just let me grow my network but no more than that, they never contacted me or answer me and probably they just wanted to have lot of connections.

 

Again, as she says: “In that respect, your network on LinkedIn is really only as strong as your ties to the people in it“. Although this is completely true, we all know that we know perfectly all of our connections. We have some top linked people that just let us grow our 2nd and 3rd level in our network and we probably are connected to those top linked people just for that. But it’s truly important we have most of our connections actually tie to us, so they can recommend us, so we can recommend them and also to do business together.

 

But (this is our first non-agreement 🙂 ) she mentions in the same paragraph: “You will get more benefits from LinkedIn if you have a network of 30 people you know well than 300 people you don’t really know“.  I think if Linkedin provided us with some way to classify our connections with TAGS (I wrote a post about tags to classify in business social networking sites) and a quite more advanced inbox (I also wrote a post about that) then we could organize all of our connections in the way we want to. We could have lot of connections and have some of them (maybe 30) that we know very well , maybe another 30 that we know who are they exactly and what are they doing and maybe another 300 with just people you consider interesting and maybe another 30 that just act as hubs.

 

Moving forward to her second rule (“Don’t send invitations to people who don’t know you.”) she is completely right. If you agree with the previous issue, then don’t do what you don’t like to the others.

 

In her third rule she says “Someone who puts their email address right under their name is announcing that they will connect with anyone, and for the purposes of LinkedIn, this will weaken their network“, and I’d like to ask? Is that ok? The first reason of this website is to make a business network and give their email address is like saying: “I’m available for business” or “this is the way you can contact me if you need some of my services”. I think the email address is not the problem, I think the email address solves a problem on linkedin that is the impossibility to contact the people you need to contact to do business. In a previous post on my blog I comment something that should solve the problem of the email address.

 

Number five (“Remind me how I know you“) is really important to introduce you to the other and number seven (“Keep things a little informal“) is also important for today business world.

 

Just to close this post, I think Penelope’s seven advices about how to use LinkedIn are very important and useful to read. I agreed with her and I also disagreed but all opinions are important to add value to this great business network linkedin is.

 

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Linkedin Messaging System

July 19, 2007

Some weeks ago one of my connections at Linkedin.com was looking for a non well-known man of the automotive industry because, I guess, my contact has something interesting to offer to that man. As they are not directly connected, my contact tried to find the other man by a forward as a third degree connection (the first was me and the second was Ron Bates, maybe the biggest hub on LinkedIn) and today, I still don’t know if he had contacted to that man or not.

Are you seeing the same problem than me?

I think LinkedIn should implement a new and quite a lot more advanced messaging system. Why? Something I see as a positive thing in LinkedIn, that could be discussed later, is that now you can’t send message to anyone you want, because that way and with the current messaging system you avoid some people to suffer in his LinkedIn inbox what they has in their own mailbox: tons of spam, filtering , rules, etc. I see this impossibility to send messages to anyone as a solution, but not as a good one.

Coming back to the real story about my connection and his intend to make contact with some “far away from him on the LinkedIn network” user. Maybe that “someone” user was expecting or searching a guy that could give what my connection has to give, and due to the hard way my connection must does to get to that “someone” , they lack the chance to get connected and do the business they want to or need to.

As a conclusion, in my opinion LinkedIn needs an advanced messaging system that let users not directly connected to communicate keeping in mind two important issues:

  • Let users send messages but with some restrictions so senders cannot spam (for example someone that wants to send a message offering his services to all or some people of a specific industry).
  • Let users configure what kind of message they want to receive (for example, maybe someone don’t want to hear about anyone on some specific industry to communicate, or someone living on a specific country, or if the message contains specific words, or simply whatever they want).

LinkedIn would model an advanced message inbox with different folders for each level of indirection and also with certain folders for specific people, for answers, and also for people that has been tagged in some way. This way each user will have the power to decide what messages want to read, receive or prioritize and as a result, and going back to the story both my contact and the automotive industry man would do business if and only if they want to, without restrictions.