online social networking
Several days ago, I accidentally said “yes” to the option to invite my email contacts to connect (contacts on an email address that I’ve had for years, but that I don’t use much for business). And, BAM! 700-some invitations to connect went out.
Oops. Oh, well. No big deal.
Turns out it was a bigger deal than I thought, for two reasons:
1. There is a lifetime limit on the number of invitations to connect that you can send out. Although I can’t find it published on LinkedIn, other sites say the limit is 3000. I just blew through 700+ in one fell swoop.
2. If you get too many “I don’t know this person” responses to your invitations, you can be banned from inviting people to connect if you don’t know their email address. I now have a warning message when I invite someone to connect that I am getting perilously close to the limit (which I have read on other sites is 5):
Please note: This message is a notice that you are nearing the threshold of “I don’t know” responses you can receive before you will be required to enter an email address when sending invitations. Please remember to only invite people you know.
It seems a little bit like entrapment. LinkedIn enticed me to invite my email contacts, and I did (although I actually didn’t mean to), and now I’m getting “punished” for doing so.
I started doing penance by going into my sent invitations, one by one and withdrawing the invitation to connect. After 20 minutes, my wrist was getting sore from the repetitive key strokes and my eyes were getting blurry, so I took a break to read my email.
An email from LinkedIn customer service was in my inbox. While they couldn’t change what had occurred, they did offer to withdraw all my unaccepted invitations (which I gladly accepted).
I also added this little note:
There seems to be an inconsistency in what LinkedIn says people should do (invite to connected with people you know well) and what LinkedIn is allowing to happen way too easily—connecting with people you don’t know who happen to be in your email contact list. This wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t limits on invitations or penalties for the “I don’t know this person” response. Maybe there should at least be a warning before people click through to add everyone in their email contacts.
So, if you didn’t know about the invitation limit or the dangers of connecting with people who might not remember you (or somehow are on your email contacts), now you do!