No, I haven’t been slacking off at work or not taking out the trash or neglecting my children. I’ve simply been replying to LinkedIn invitations with a simple Accept, and that’s it. No thank you note; not even something as basic as, “thanks for connecting with me.” Trust me, I feel awful about this.
In my defense, I’ve joined OpenNetworker.com, a service that provides its members with a list of thousands of LinkedIn users. I did this on a recommendation from one of my connections who knows I’ve been yearning to grow my network on LinkedI, so I figured I’d follow her advice and see where it leads me.
OpenNetworker.com has come through on its promise to grow my network; I get at least 100 invites a week. At this writing there are 27 people waiting to be accepted, including someone who is a gun-loving pit-bull breeder. I’m thrilled to get this volume of invites; but as I mentioned above, I’ve become a lazy slob.
I used to thank everyone who invited me to their network with a quick little note like, “Ed, thanks for inviting me to be in your network. I hope we can collaborate on projects in the future. Bob.” But now I do nothing after I hit Accept.
The reason why I don’t write a thank you note (thanks to OpenNetworker.com) to the slew of invites I receive is because they arrive with the impersonal LinkedIn default message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Not to sound dramatic, but It’s like returning from a hard day’s work and not getting a kiss from my wife or being ignored by my kids. Where’s the motivation to write a thank you note, I ask you?
What did I expect when I joined OpenNetworker.com—that everyone would take the time to write a personalized invitation to me? No, that would be too much to expect. I know people who use OpenNetworker.com are limited by the technology. They copy and paste a ton of e-mail addresses, separated with commas, in the Add Connections field and blast them off.
So you can imagine the crossroads I’m at. On the one hand I want to grow my network to gain more exposure, but I also want to feel the love that one does when he receives a special note inviting him to join a network. I guess I can’t have it both ways.
I think what we have here is an agreement of mutual laziness. I guess I can live with that. But for those of you who want to invite me to your network and take the time to write a special invitation to little ole me, you darn tootin’ can expect a personalized thank you in return.
Here’s something interesting to consider..
When someone is attempting to connect with you from these methods:
– LinkedIn’s IPhone app
– Directly from Outlook (if user has merged LinkedIn with Outlook)
– Directly from the “People you may know” list that LinkedIn forces us to view
LinkedIn does not offer a message box to write a personal note. You as the receiver of the invitation will only receive a generic message of “I’d like to add you to my professional network” of which the sender has zero control.
I do not agree that LinkedIn requires such a generic message to be sent without any control by sender when sending an invite using the above (3) methods. With more users using the IPhone app and you popping up in more “People you may know” lists, that generic message will be more commonplace.
Thank you for posting this blog, as it’s a hot topic with me as well. Now you may be less quick to judge the impersonal message given the lack of sender’s control.
Cheers fom San Diego,
You make some great points. Regarding the ability to send a personalized note through OpenNetworker.com, I believe the process is to dump e-mail addresses we receive into a field and hit send. I haven’t tried it yet, as I’m trying to keep up with the invites I’m getting. Certainly if a person who has access to this list wants to send individual invites, he/she can.
My reason for blogging on this is asking, “What’s the motivation to sending a thank you note when I receive the default invite?” On the other hand, it saves me the trouble of writing such a note. I’m conflicted though.