At least three times a year, I go through my LinkedIn account and remove people with whom I’ve lost contact, people who don’t return my emails or people I’ve added to avoid a socially awkward moment.
My LinkedIn account isn’t just a running list of anyone I’ve ever met in a business or even social setting. Everyone in my account is someone in whom I trust. They’re people I would recommend to others without hesitation and who, likewise, would recommend me with no reservations. If you are trying to connect with someone through my LinkedIn account, you can be assured I know them and I would highly recommend anyone in my network.
Too many times, I’ve tried to connect with someone in a friend’s LinkedIn account only to receive no reply. When I ask my friend the nature of their relationship with the person not responding to me, too often I get the response “I don’t even know who that is” or sometimes I’ll get a “I think I met them at a conference once.”
Having a lot of connections may make you feel like you’re well-connected, but if your own connections won’t respond to you, chances are your relationships aren’t as strong as you thought.
In LinkedIn, as in life, I seek quality and meaning over quantity. If we all want LinkedIn to work for us, be diligent about your connections and either don’t accept people you wouldn’t normally recommend or clean them from your list routinely. (If it makes you feel better, like in Facebook, when you remove people from your LinkedIn account… they’re not notified.)