Sleepy Linking (or, How I Built My Network)

Do you have a personal policy about who you connect with on LinkedIn? How about Facebook?

I do. On Facebook, I don’t connect with students until after they graduate. On LinkedIn, I believe that more contacts is better than fewer.

A few years back, I had a little LinkedIn connection adventure. I was with my family in Europe, teaching brand management at EM Strasbourg… an amazing experience. My January classes back home at Dominican were still a week or so away. My days started early to teach day-long classes, and continued late as I tried to finish my preparation for my back-home classes while also enjoying a bit of the beautiful Alsace region in France, on the German border. This led to some late nights on the computer.

One morning as I was getting ready for class, I looked at my phone and noticed that my LinkedIn account was unusually busy. Back then, I wasn’t very active on the network and my buzz was limited to the occasional past life or conference connection reaching out. But this was odd… there were about a dozen connection “Accept” notifications. And this ran the gamut of people I knew, high school, college, grad school, past jobs.

I didn’t remember sending those invites.

As the day went on, even more blasts from the past said yes to my request. Why, many of you are reading this right now! And maybe you wondered, why is Dave sending this connection request to me? We haven’t spoken in years. Decades even! What, did he fall asleep with his face on the keyboard while staying up late, supposedly to get some work done but really just diverting himself from his work to look at LinkedIn?

Yes. I call it SleepyLinking. I still do love you, but that’s pretty much what happened.

This act alone added many, many names to my network.

I think this is a good thing.

Also good… for all the new connections, I don’t know how many people rejected my request. That’s a number don’t want to think about.

So what’s your policy?

And no matter how you got here, I’m glad you’re here. Thank you for being part of my network. While we’re here together, please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

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