I have been an avid user of LinkedIn since very early on. As much as I felt I knew what was going on I never quite understood what it meant when someone had the word LION next to their name. I did happen to notice that LION's always had more than 500 contacts- often many more. What's more, they were often the strangers that were sending me invitations to connect. Who are these people and what are they doing?
A LION (a LinkedIn Open Networker) is an individual who is open to networking with any and all comers. At the surface it seems like a laudable idea. Leave no stone unturned, remain open to all possibilities and all that stuff. I am all for it EXCEPT just one little detail. Networking is one of those things that connect people in a meaningful manner.
So let's say I am a LION and I connect with 500 other such open networkers. Due to the nature of technology, that connection is basically comprised of clicking the ACCEPT button. If I do take the time to read your profile I still know little about you and have never had the chance to "meet" you.
What I want to know is this- if you are an open networker are you really planning to do something with all these contacts? Do you introduce them blindly to others? Is this a contest to see how many contacts one can make? (Note: LinkedIn now says 500+ contacts; whether you have 501 or 50,000 contacts, it is not a label for all to see). Call me old fashioned but I still like to know who I am connecting with. Will somebody please tell me what I am missing?