But do we REALLY understand its reputational implications?
Technology is no doubt shaping the way we conduct ourselves in both our professional and personal lives. Social Media of course topping the list! For obvious reasons, it has become a wonderland for marketers, however the original purpose for Social Media was to help people reach out faster, and keep in touch with a much broader ‘network’.
Game-changers in the tech space 10-15 years ago were the online Job Boards, and Social Media platforms like Myspace. Times are changing and technology is evolving. Myspace’s popularity has been replaced by the likes of Facebook, and online job boards by LinkedIn. Hundreds of Millions of people worldwide use these mediums as their primary point of contact with the outside world.
In the professional network space, there aren’t many people that do not use LinkedIn. It’s a highly effective tool used to connect and keep in touch with other professionals, but seems to be becoming more ‘Social’ than ‘Professional’. Further, there seems to be no attempt made to restrict unsolicited messaging (SPAM). On a daily basis we are battered by (annoying) LION photos followed by a spate of email addresses in the comments fields from people wanting to build their ‘social network’. But what is the value of having thousands of indiscriminate connections. Where is the value?
Last week, this (pictured) appeared on my LinkedIn newsfeed. I saw the humour in it – someone testing the market whether people would be silly enough to STILL enter their email addresses despite the note inset. Ironically all the comments ensued with email addresses – within 3 hours was up to 113! I speculate: Did these people read the caption? Did they realise it was a joke, and not care? I’m thinking, everyone they are connected to will think they pay no attention to detail; or are happy to sacrifice quality in their network over quantity.
Social Media is about providing an information conduit between people, both locally and internationally. A by-product of this Social Media conduit is your connections and communications being not only visible to yourself, but your community at large. From where I stand, I would not want to be connected, or in any way associated with the people that enter their names on such a list.
Perhaps there are other lines of thought on this subject, so I pose the question: Is there value to building a quantity network over a quality network?
Yes, this post really does exist: http://www.linkedin.com/nhome/updates?topic=5867139205901082624
Written by Tobias Kenway, Principal Consultant, Selection Partners