I use Twitter every day. Anyone can follow me, and I’ll follow anyone who looks interesting.

Facebook I use much less frequently and don’t have (or want) many friends on there. It’s more personal/family related, although I do have KashFlow RSS feeds plugged into it.

My problem is with LinkedIn. I find it a very useful network, but I regularly get connection requests from people I have very tenuous connections with or have never heard of:

– Twitter followers I have no interaction with, or just banter with
– KashFlow customers I’ve never dealt with myself (there’s nearly 10,000 of you now!)
– People I exchanged a few inconsequential words with at some event or another

You get the picture.

Ideally I’d only connect on LinkedIn with people I know, worked with,  done business with or would at least recognise if  I bumped into them somewhere.

There’s two reasons I don’t want to add other people.

Firstly, if they ask to be introduced to a genuine connection of mine, I can’t tell the recipient of the intro anything at all about the requester. And if the requester turns out to be a muppet then it reflects badly on me.

Secondly is the same thing but in reverse. A genuine connection may see I’m connected to John Random and want an intro. An intro via me to John Random isn’t going to carry much weight as John hardly knows me – I’m just one of his “500+” connections. So again, a poor quality intro that John Random may not follow up reflects badly on me.

Adding tenuous connections seriously undermines LinkedIn’s usefulness.

I think it’s the whole race to get a high “friend count” that makes people want to add as many people as possible.

Am I missing something?
Do you have 500+ LinkedIn connections, most of whom you don’t know from Adam? Why?
Would we all be better off without a published friend count, or is that an essential ingredient?

I am willing to have my mind changed on this, just as it was on the topic of Twitter badges