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Are You Still a LinkedIn LION? Do You Benefit?

It’s been around for a few years now, the Linkedin LIONs (or Linkedin Open Networkers) which openly encourage networking with relative strangers in order to boost their audience, and to be honest I don’t really hear much about it these days – but i’m asking if anyone that is still a LION actually benefits from it?

Why?

Why I am asking that question I hear you say? Surely increasing the size of anyone’s social networking capacity is good news? The bigger the better right?

I used to be a Linkedin LION up until a few months ago, and here’s why I believe it’s gone too far.

  • It’s false  - I was tired of receiving connection request from complete strangers who can’t benefit me (and I them) in any way – other than to increase numbers.
  • It’s annoying – I reached a point where I added an email address to Linkedin which I only use for Linkedin, and guess what? All that spam mail I thought I was getting? It was coming from those pesky LIONs.
  • Too much selling. I don’t need to be sold to every time I make a new connection, and that is what was happening whenever I connected with a LION.
  • Spam – i’m tired of receiving connection requests from hundreds of ‘people’ with no profile photo, history or job details. What is the point in networking with someone who doesn’t ‘do’ anything?
  • It looks unprofessional – This is probably a little controversial for some, but does it really look good to have 5000 connections with random sales executives around the world who mean nothing to you? Or would it be better to focus on improving your profile, gaining recommendations, helping people and improving your reputation?

Maybe i’m going a little against the grain in some respects, as I appreciate that to a certain extent a lot of what social media is about IS open networking, Twitter for example. I just feel that the basis for Linkedin is not open networking  -it’s building a professional network through genuine connections and real working relationships. That’s what makes Linkedin successful in my opinion and I certainly won’t be going back to be a LION anytime soon.

So are you a Linkedin LION and do you have any thoughts? What benefits does it bring you?