When I first discovered LinkedIn, I was linking in a rural network landscape - a few people out there, but not many. A person could check their LI messages once a week or so and keep up with expectations. Kind of like looking out the window over your farm fields and feeling thrilled when a car turns up your dusty road. Well, times have changed, and small-town LI is now a sprawling suburban network, verging on a becoming a city in itself.
LinkedIn is getting crowded, and the newest users have suspicious motives. "If someone connects with me on LinkedIn," says one manager, "then I know they are looking for a job." How can an honest networker escape the assumption that all newcomers to the countryside are evil? Your best bet is to take a two-tiered approach: use it, and personalize it.