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LinkedIn & Open Networking

I ran across this a while back and it’s been on my ‘to blog about’ list for too long. Open networkers (LION’s) are those that actively seek and accept networking connections on LinkedIn. It’s a controversial strategy, both to LinkedIn itself and to those of us building networks, but it’s definitely interesting.

This article from CIO Magazine talks about Steve Burda having more than 34,000 connections on LI. That’s direct connections, not six layers down. That’s a LOT of people, though no where near the kind of counts of followers that some of the celebs get on Twitter. Maybe that’s good!

I’d call myself a relaxed networker. If you use SQL or read my blog, I’m happy to connect with you. We don’t have to meet in person three times or become blood brothers, but I do want my network to be relevant. Everyone gets to decide for themselves and I think no wrong answers, just pick a strategy that fits you.

Imagine though, that you’re out of work tomorrow. Which would you rather have, a network of 360or so (me, right now)m, or Steven Burda with 34k? Worth thinking about how you plan to use your network, and equally, how you plan to help your network. If you had to start looking for an employee tomorrow, better to tell 360 people or 34,000?

I’m not convinced yet that I should change to the open network strategy, but it’s interesting, and worth thinking about.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by TimothyAWiseman on 31 July 2009

It sounds like your 360 actual have at least some small reason to care about you and your job search, how many of the 34,000 actual pay any attention?  

And if someone is aggressively seeking such links, many may dislike the link about accepted it in order to avoid being rude.

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