Since my current full-time job is to find a steady source of income, I have been spending a lot of time on LinkedIn.
It's a great tool for researching potential jobs, since apparently 70% of jobs come from connections. (Who needs protekzia when you have the right connections? J)
The concept is simple: Search for the company that is advertising an opening and discover who you know there - and then ask them to put in a good word for you.
What I noticed was that I had "1st level" contacts almost everywhere. That should be great, except that I would consistently discover that these were all people who had found me and linked up with me over the years - but I have no idea who they are.
Or else they were people who I had linked up with, as they worked at HR companies, or were famous people or vaguely connected to a company I worked at.
Bottom line: I do not know them. So?
So I cannot write them a note asking them to put in a a good word for me, as they have no idea who I am.
And because they don't know me, they never offer me a job. So what's it help to be connected to them?
Even worse: Since I am on "1st level" terms with these people and their company, I cannot easily see who we know in common; people who I may actually know and who could put in a good word for me.
So, I did the painful move of removing contacts! Painful because LinkedIn makes it rather difficult to remove about 100 contacts, painful because I had to double check that these are actually people I can safely remove, and painful because I hate throwing things away - no matter how useless they are.
I still have over 480 contacts - and that number still needs to shrink. So now, every time a contact "gets in the way", they get removed.
So if I refuse to link to you and point you to this post, you know why.
That said, on FaceBook, I have given up. I have almost 1,500 friends - and I probably know about 10% of them. But since these are people who want to read my Halocho-a-Day post, I have agreed to befriend them.
On FaceBook I only unfriend people who bug me with nonsensical posts are other forms of spam.
In Project Management one sees the same thing; sometimes involving too many people is counterproductive, and sometimes everybody needs to be informed. The trick is to be able to differentiate between the 2 cases.