I recently updated my status on LinkedIn to read:
Matt is determined not to have 500+ connections. Will start removing connections soon.
A couple of days later, I received the following message from a connection:
I noticed the other day you mentioned that you are determined to not have over 500 LinkedIn connections. I'm wondering what the reason is? Not just because LinkedIn shows 500+ after that, is it? As you work for LinkedIn, I assume there's some other reason. I'm interested to know what it is...
I joined LinkedIn May 27, 2003, 22 days after it initially launched. For the first few years, I accepted invitations when I received them. Some folks I knew, some I didn't. When I started consulting for LinkedIn last summer, I had somewhere between 200 and 300 connections. Most of them were people who had contacted me, not folks I had contacted.
One day, I used the import webmail contacts feature to pull in my contacts from Gmail. My number of connections quickly jumped by 100 and it's increased quite a bit since then (mostly due to co-workers from LinkedIn). Of the almost 500 connections I have, I believe there's a good 100-200 of them that are folks I don't know, have never had contact with, and will likely never benefit from being "connected" with.
I guess the main reason I'm planning on trimming my connections is to make my network higher quality. I admit I'm somewhat motivated by the 500+ icon, but it's also a genuine feeling that there's quite a few folks I won't benefit from being connected to. I'm not a LION after all. I believe my LinkedIn network should resemble my real-world network.
What's your opinion? Should I have folks in my network that know me, but I don't know them?