Tonight I had a strange experience with Linked In, the web-based networking
tool. But before I tell my story, let me give you some background
Back in 2004, I was sent an invitation to join a contact’s
network. I joined “just to be nice” more than anything, and for the
longest time my inviter was the only person in my direct
I use Plaxo to keep up to
date with my contacts, and I really didn’t see the need to
cultivate yet another database.
Over time I was invited to join other contacts’ Linked In
Networks – and I always obliged, but I really wasn’t taking the
whole thing very seriously. Eventually one of my Linked In contacts
gave me an endorsement…which I thought was kinda neat. Thanks
So fast forward to yesterday when I realized that I had accepted
invitations from 14 people over the last two years, and that
through zero effort on my part, my little network now had
access to over 3,000 people.
You’ve gotta love the whole exponential growth thing and how it
works its magic.
So just for fun, last night I hit the “Add Connections” button
and let Linked In go through my Outlook contacts. This morning I
had email from over 30 people who had accepted my invitation, and
now I suddenly have an extended network with access to over
25,000 people. I’m having a lot of fun seeing how big my
network can grow.
Tonight, just to see what would happen, I clicked one of the links that
was created from a grouping of words in my profile. Suddenly I was
looking at names I hadn’t seen in twenty years, and they were in
my network – even if once or twice removed. It was more than
a little freaky…it was almost scary. These were people I hadn’t
thought of in years, names that were all but forgotten…and all I
had to do was click a button and say “Hi, how have you been since
we lost touch so long ago?”
I couldn’t do it. I won’t do it. It’s too weird.
So once again, the world has become much smaller thanks to the
World Wide Web. It is a good thing? Probably…but right now it
just feels a bit surreal.
Am I the only one that this has happened to? I’d love to hear