I agree with Micheal Widlake‘s rant on Why is “Dave Unknown” Trying to Social Media With Me? on LinkedIn.
Widlake compares garnering LinkedIn contacts with stamp-collecting (except the latter requires more thought and planning):
Over 500 contacts? Really? Really? And you know all these people? No, you don’t Dave. You are just collecting stamps. I’m as important to you as that. So now, though I know nothing much about you, I know I am unimportant to you, I’m just a stamp. I definitely do NOT want to be LinkedIn with you.
Occasionally it is worse. I’m not a stamp, I’m a little bit of potential collateral, a maybe-bit-of-income for them. The person is a recruitment consultant or a salesperson or a company representative who has figured out that for every 200 hundred people they bother they get a lead. So they contact thousands of us. Well, you can really stuff your invite up where the sun does not shine.
But most of the time it is stamp collecting. This seems very common with our South Asian friends. I don’t know why, maybe it is a cultural thing, maybe the universities there tell their students that this is a good way to progress (I can’t see that it is but I’m happy to be corrected if I am wrong), I don’t know – but 75% of LinkedIn invites I get from people with 500+ contacts are from that part of the world.
Despite being much further out on the long tail than Widlake, I still get similar invitations. Obscurity does not entail safety in the online world.
But I see as a price I have to pay to use the LinkenIn service for free.
One thing I have noticed recently is that LinkenIn have removed the Ignore button on their invitations. Maybe we all wore it out!