It is more than 15 years I’m using LinkedIn and in all this time I stuck by the same policy: connect only to people I know well enough to be able to answer work-relevant questions about them.
I’m confident that 90% of my contacts met this criteria at the time I connected, but with the years passing my recall of past interactions in most cases got blurred or faded away altogether. And it is also true that most people has changed, usually for the better, since we worked or studied together.
It’s a fact that for most of my contacts I’m no longer able to answer with confidence whether they might, or might not, be a good fit for a certain role.
To remain coherent with my original mental model about when I should be connected with someone in LinkedIn I should take my list of contacts and slash mercilessly at least half of them.
Unfortunately isn’t this easy.
This approach looks wrong to me because my current inability to answer specific questions about them doesn’t make the reality of my past interactions with my contacts any less true and if I thought at the time that it was right to connect I shouldn’t assume now it’s no longer the case.
It would also be unfair to my connections..
While I have pretty much made my mind about my existing contacts I’m quite undecided about new ones.
Should I maintain the approach just accepting the fact in a few years I will not be able to answer detailed questions?
Should I accept the connection from people I’ve met in person and use LinkedIn as a modern version of the business card holder?
Should I differentiate, and safeguard against the effect of time, the deeper interactions using the recommendations more than I do today?
Please share in the comments how do you manage your network and why.
P.S.I know there are many that take an open network approach accepting anyone reaching out on LinkedIn and why it makes sense for them, but I know already this is not something I am comfortable with.