Sunday, March 16, 2008

Do You Like Me? Check one: Yes No Maybe

Brings back memories, doesn't it? Note passing. The old-fashion version of the text message. And I was the consumate note-passer. Notes to friends about what we should all wear tomorrow (God forbid you wear red and I show up in yellow). Notes about the teacher. Notes about cheer practice. Notes about boys.

Then there were notes to the boys. And from the boys. And they always were about being liked. Except when they were about not being liked. You know, those horrid, crushing no-I-don't-like-you notes.

You would think we would outgrow the Yes No Maybe notes. But unfortunately, NO. We've just made them look oh-so mature and put a dot com on it. My Space, FaceBook, Linked In.

Let's talk about Linked In. is a database of 20+ million professionals, where you can find people by querying their name, employer, or profession. You can find people that you "used to know". And then you invite these people to "link" with you and become part of your on-line network. You send a note, "Will you Link with me?" Yes No Maybe.

Unfortunately, I'm an addict. Even moreso than note passing. Maybe even moreso than texting and blogging. I love to get on Linked In and watch my numbers of connections grow and grow.

But when it comes to sending those invitations to "link", I seriously get this nervous feeling in my stomach. What if people I "used to know" just let my request sit in their inbox ("pending" is the term that LinkedIn politely uses, but it is definitely a Maybe. A I-need-some-time-to-think-about-it answer.) Even worse, what if they decline? What if they just simply don't want to connect?

Linked In also publishes the number of connections each person has. Right next to their name. And there are special Linked In groups for those members with lots and lots of connections. The really popular people. Their names say "500+" next to them. It's like an indication of status:

Joe Smith, CFO, 500+
or in other words
Joe Smith, Really smart guy with lots of friends

And how do you think that makes the rest of us feel, Joe Smith???

Well, who knows, maybe one day I too will be a 500+ Linked In member with access to special groups that probably don't really do any good but still look impressive on a member profile.

So if you'd like to help in the cause, please come Link with me. Oh, and go ahead and nominate me for Homecoming Queen while you're at it.

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