“Friends” and “Connections”: does size matter?
I have 742 Linked In Connections and 373 Facebook friends. One of my employees has 6000 Facebook friends (He is in a band. I do want to keep this in proper perspective.) Some of my employees are “Open Networkers” and have thousands of Linked In Connections.
So, what guesses can you make about me when you compare and contrast me against someone with thousands of Friends and Connections?
At first blush, you may assume I don’t visit either site very often. You may also guess that I do not value either for professional and/or personal interactions. Both assumptions would be incorrect. I am just a “less is more” person.
Interestingly, my 6000-friend employee said it best last evening. A friend (an “IRL” friend, for those of you needing test/web speak) said to him, “you may have 6000 Facebook Friends. But how many would be there for you if you had a flat tire?” Now, I’m not going to pretend that all 373 Facebook “friends” would get out of bed for me on a rainy night. But, to be fair, I have triple A and would never put that to the test. But, I can tell you that I know all 742 Linked In connections enough to feel comfortable to reach out and ask for professional assistance. If you tell me you would like to meet someone in my network, I am comfortable enough to ask all 742 personally if they would let me facillitate that introduction.
My own rule: If you wouldn’t enjoy my sense of humor (pure snark), I am not friends with you on Facebook. If I don’t know you enough for me to be comfortable saying “hey, gotta sec?”, I don’t connect with you on Linked In. The former has no professional relevance. But, the latter is huge in my ability to help the other 741 people I am connected to. Rest assured if you see some way I can help you, that I feel 100% comfortable asking the other 741 to help. But please don’t ask me for 2nd level assistance. That’s a whole ‘nother story.