“I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” Promiscuous Web 2.0

June 10, 2008 at 8:32 pm 5 comments

Let’s face it, Web 2.0 is quickly becoming the hottest way to market and evangelize your business.  No only is it the most effective way to build a professional network, it’s the fastest. Social networking tools can help build strong relationships, but it’s still an artistry that takes effort to make them effective and fruitful.

Yes, when it comes to professional networking, you may call me promiscuous.  In the past, I’ve been known to network with anyone…. that is, until today.

My recruiting role is all about networking, building and fostering solid professional relationships.  My philosophy has always revolved around complete open networking.  Just ask Valerie Gonyea, recruiter at RHI and one of my favorite Tweets.  She can speak first hand about our open debate regarding “open” versus “closed” networking.  Valerie is far more conservative with those she allows into her network than I am.

BUT, now I am drawing the line in the sand and setting up rules for engagement.

The countless invitations to connect on LinkedIn via faceless profiles, the infamous “canned invite,” hidden connections, no endorsements and profiles lacking substance has got to cease.  I want to get to know you better before jumping into a professional relationship. 

This isn’t a blind date.

Social media has enabled us to simulate and portray ourselves however we choose.  The public persona is an amazing branding tool, but it has it’s limitations if not populated just right or if left blank.

How does that saying go “top talent attracts other top talent”?   

So, don’t you want put a little business value into your online profile before extending your offer to connect?  After all, if you were going out to a face to face networking event, you’d “put your best foot forward” rather than showing up in a dingy sweat outfit and ski mask?  Am I right? LOL.

Before sending your next invitation to connect, keep in mind the person on the other end.  Are they after a quickie connection in order to increase their network numbers?   Or, are they like myself and into long term professional relationships?  How will you know with that “canned invite”?

So I’ve decided to take a stance.  Show some good value proposition!  I will, however, accept your faceless “canned invite” on one condition:

“I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.”  (I’m talking about your LinkedIn connections here)

What say you?  Shall we dance?


Entry filed under: Networking, social media. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hfcn  |  June 10, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I love it!! You are darned clever Heather! My kids would like your bloggity blog and super hero references. 😀

    Love your post and happy to support your success in promiscuous 2.0 networking.. It works if you work it openly.. AND not just for OUR industry.

  • 2. davidjhinson  |  June 11, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Heather gets it. The funny thing about Social Media is that it is often not very social – at all.

    You gotta have reciprocity and add value. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    Great post.

  • 3. patricecollin  |  June 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    First time on your Blog and with this post…I felt you had read my mind this morning!

    Linkedin..I have been using it a lot the last few years and I agree, in some cases it has become a race for some as to how many connections they have!

    One thing I pride mslef on doing is to always send a relevant personal message when asking someone to connect…and more importantly take the time to understand why you want to connect and voice that…ex: read your work and was impressed would ove an opportunity to share some ideas…basically be genuine!

    Keep fighting the good fight! I will keep read you blog!

  • 4. robertstanke  |  June 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Heather – great blog post. I actually put this same theory into practice a few months ago. Might sound corny and cliche, but what I did was re-analyze what MY strategy was – not only as a recruiter, but as a networker in general. I literally wrote down my strategy and figured out how it would play into all of the networking tools I use.

    Robert Stanke

  • 5. nd1976  |  June 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm


    I must disagree with your comment about “showing” one’s LinkedIn contacts to all other users.

    I have worked very hard to build long-term mutually beneficial relationships with the clients and candidates who have agreed to connect with me on LinkedIn. I choose not to display the contacts list so that my competitors don’t pick up the phone, call them and say ” hey, you do business with Bill’s search firm, why not mine?” My friends don’t need the aggravation and I don’t need to make my competitors’ lives easier.

    Having said that, I forward along 95%+ of the requests for introduction that I receive. If someone I know runs a search and identifies one of my contacts as someone to whom they’d like to be introduced, all they have to do is ask.

    So my practice is that “I will SHARE but I will not SHOW” my contacts.

    I welcome your feedback.

    Bill Lewis


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