I slipped and did something the other day that I didn’t mean to do.
Normally, I keep two browsers running (with multiple tabs going on each) at the same time, and it helps me keep track of what I’m juggling. There are certain things I only do on Google Chrome, and certain other things I only do on Mozilla Firefox. An example of how that helps: On Chrome, I have myself permanently logged in to my Twitter feed, so that when I click on my Twitter bookmark, it’s up and ready to go (although actually I use Tweetdeck mostly for composition of Tweets, I find the regular browser version easier to use for looking up followers and such). On Firefox, Twitter thinks of me as the author of ADCO’s feed, so I’m automatically logged into that one.
Earlier this week, I broke protocol. For some reason, an invitation to do something on LinkedIn came in on my ADCO email (Firefox). That was weird, because normally I deal with LinkedIn only on Chrome. And I thought LinkedIn only had my blog email address, which I only look at via Chrome. Some prospective connection must have manually entered the ADCO address on an invitation; I don’t know.
In any case, since it had never come up on that browser before, LinkedIn treated me like someone who had never been to the site before, and among other things invited me to send invitations to all my contacts. I’m quite sure that, faced with the prospect of invitations going out to a couple of thousand people, I clicked on the option that said not to do that. I did it quite deliberately.
But I must have clicked on something wrong at some point along the way, because all week, ever since that day, I’ve been getting responses to LinkedIn invitations from people I never (with intent, anyway) sent such invitations to.
Which is fine, on some level. Some of these were people I probably should be connected to in that way, as part of a balanced social media strategy. But others were nice people, friends of mine, who are just not into that kind of stuff at all. People I would never dream of bothering with such a request.
Some of them took the time to write me thoughtful emails (and in one case, a voicemail) thanking me for having thought of them (which, I hereby confess, I had not done, at least in this context), but explaining as nicely as they could — letting me down easy — that they just didn’t do stuff like that.
My first instinct, in each case, was to write back and apologize for having bothered them. But then they would know that I hadn’t been thinking of them, and that might make the situation even more awkward than it was.
So I did nothing, except to write, “That’s all right” to one or two of them.
This happened on Monday. So far, I’ve heard from about 40 people, either accepting the connection or politely refusing. I don’t know how many are still hovering out there.
I don’t know about you, but so far, LinkedIn hasn’t done much for me. Twitter and Facebook have helped me build my blog readership, and I just really enjoy Twitter as a medium of expression. But LinkedIn… smart people tell me that it’s an important part of a professional personal brand strategy, so I have dutifully recruited 863 connections so far. But I have yet to get anything out of it that I haven’t gotten from other social media tenfold. Not that I won’t someday; I remain hopeful…
Anyway, if you are one of the unfortunate multitudes who received an invitation this week, I didn’t mean to send it. Not that I don’t think of you all the time. I just wasn’t thinking of you that way…