It’s amazing how much I’ve come to rely on LinkedIn. Don’t get me wrong – I am not a social media addict. I don’t Twitt yet. MySpace makes me nervous. I use Facebook, but primarily because I have some clients that are obsessed with it as a business tool.
LinkedIn is different – it’s used (at least by me) for business purposes only. I use it for research on clients, partners, investors, etc. I use it to get answers to questions. I use it to connect with current colleagues, past colleagues, and sometimes for recruiting purposes.
Let me preface my upcoming rant with this – I am not an “open networker”. I send invitations to connect to people I know and have worked with, and accept invitations to connect from people I know and have worked with. Personally, I don’t believe in the “open networking” thing because I think it defeats the purpose of a community like LinkedIn, but hey…to each his own. So now that you know where I stand on that…
What I don’t understand is why people join LinkedIn, connect with a few people, and never fully complete their profiles. And I am not talking about adding silly pictures. Tell me where you worked. Tell me where you went to school. List your website and/or blog. At least add the basics, ok? Assuming you’re connecting with people you know, or even for those of you who connect with people you don’t know, this helps me learn more about you and your business. The more I know about you, the more I may be able to help you. If you’re not willing to reveal some details to at least the folks you’re connected with, then I am not sure what the point of participating in LinkedIn really is.
Trust me, I love my anonymity as much as the next guy. But once you take the LinkedIn leap, you can’t really do it with one foot in and one foot out.