Is LinkedIn a Lot Like Love?

My comments on an interesting commentary on Linkedin, published by Steve Tobak of MoneyWatch.  Steve said…

Commentary : (MoneyWatch) Where would we be without LinkedIn, the business white pages for planet Earth? I bet you couldn’t imagine going back to the days before you could find people you’d lost track of or attempt to connect with pretty much anyone in the working world, whether they like it or not. And therein, lies the rub.In many ways, LinkedIn is a lot like a dating site, except for business

The article is interesting because, after praising LinkedIn with truisms like “If you want to have a career, you’ve got to have a LinkedIn profile” he then goes on to diss the other Social Networks. Steve, I don’t think you really get it!

Another comment from Steve totally floored me.

Don’t tell me you don’t think of some opportunists trying to connect with you the same way. You know you do. They put you on the spot and then you’ve got to reject them. It’s annoying. Unless, of course, they’ve got something you want. Then bingo, you make a connection. Not for life. Just until you get what you want, get bored and dump them. Just like dating.

Steve finally comments that we may feel that he comes across as cynical and jaded, DUH! Yes you do Steve!

You say there is really nothing new here, speaking of Social Media. But STEVE! YES THERE IS! Now, you can easily collaborate with anyone you know anywhere in the world on a trusted platform. Yes, I used the term “trusted platform”. I say that because Social Media provides the missing element that was not found in the earlier forms of online conversations, specifically  forums or chat rooms. And that element is “Trust”.  Those platforms absolutely were “dating bars’.

The trust in Social Media is generated because you can graphically see who is related to whom before you converse with them. You can also view their profile and much of their life history.

Steve if you utilize Social Media as you would a dating bar, you will fail! Yes, like a date, LinkedIn is part of an introduction to a  relationship. But for both a real-life and a virtual relationship to grow, both have to be nurtured and respected and not treated like a “one night stand”!

What is your Social Media strategy? A one night stand or are you seeking long-term relationships?

Click here to view Steve’s original post at


  1. Steve, I could not agree with you more. To that end, people who just use the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network” without providing context — are worse than the worst blind dates! I love to connect, but I want to know why you think it would benefit us both.

    • Thanks, I think you are agreeing with me and not Steve 🙂 and totally agree with your comment. I don’t always refer those who use the generic connection request, but i certainly do question who they are and there motives.

  2. The process of attracting a customer, a business, a collaborator or a comrade can and will be best served if we see the opportunity of social media (especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+) as a source of potential friendship, rather than a seduction. The interaction and efforts taken to involve yourself with others for the long term will garner the most respect, response and reward. Great post Steve, I mean Dennis…

  3. A tweet by Chris Lema brought me here, one demonstration of how social works that Steve does not address.

    I agree with you, Dennis, that I dislike Steve’s dismissive tone.

    I agree with Wendy that I hate the generic LinkedIn requests from people I’ve never heard of. Since LinkedIN added ‘link to everyone in your address book’ I have been getting requests from people I don’t recognize without even that note. When I take a client on LinkedIN for the first time I make sure that after they get back the information on who in their address book is on LinkedIN that they don’t just push the button to send an invitation to all. I insist they write a personalized note to each of those they want to connect to. Don’t worry, LinkedIN will remember that you “know” these people and keep feeding them to you.

  4. I send customized invitations when the person may not recognize me, but if we’ve been friends in other networks for a while and I’m just connecting with you on Linkedin then I must admit that I tend to just send the request. However if I want to connect with you for the first time then I craft a message explaining why I want to connect. As for Steve’s article, it’s nothing but hot air and he has no idea what he’s talking about. I’m surprised he has a place to voice his bs on such a respectable website. He admittedly has no idea what he’s doing and he doesn’t understand the power of networks on any level. at least not based on that article.

  5. Well, Steve will probably get a lot of hits as a result. I don’t know that everything Steve says is altogether untrue, it just reflects his personality and you’ll be surprised how many people may think the same way he does. I’ve talked to people who refuse to jump on Linkedin or Facebook and who are very private who also see any form of connection a solicitation. It’s not easy to accept, but not everyone is the same and there are a lot of people who find all forms of social media a threat to their way of living. Unfortunately, Steve as a professional hasn’t opened up to the reality of what Linkedin is.

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