A shrinking world

Today I did something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I shrunk my network on Linkedin.

I got started in Linkedin back in 2005 when I accepted an invitation from Brendon Connelly, and after about 4 months of inactivity I learned better how to use it and as of this morning I had 4,050+ connections. When I was doing competitive research Linkedin was a pretty useful tool (I even used to do presentations on the subject), and it’s value as a research database exceeded it’s value as a networking tool.

But being an open networker has it’s price. Linkedin offers a lot of notification tools to keep you in tune with what your network is doing. When your network is thousands of strangers, those tools are pretty much meaningless. It was easy to see what was going on with lots of people I didn’t know, but it was very hard to see what was happening with the folks who I did know, and this became annoying. After working with Linkedin for 4 years with a huge network, I decided to see what it is like with a small network.

I have nothing against open networking, and making this decision was a very tough choice. Today I took a few moments and disconnected from all the folks who I didn’t know, didn’t trust, or just didn’t feel connected to.

Some open networkers may read this and think I’ve thrown away a huge asset. I didn’t. Between Toplinked.com, the Meta Network, and a few other techniques it’s not hard to get scads of folks sending you invitations every day. If it turns out I’ve made a bad decision, I will simply open the floodgates once again. Until then, I’ll see how life is with a much smaller, more manageable network.

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