My networking settings:
- I don't need to know your competence or your number of connections until I know your character.
- The currency of real networking is generosity, not greed. (Keith Ferrazzi)
- I network unto others as I would like all LinkedIn members to network unto each other. I routinely introduce members of my network to people they might like to know based on mutual beliefs, interests or work. I make my first-level connections aware of LinkedIn groups they might like to join.
- Civility is enabled.
- Consideration is enabled.
- Empathy is enabled.
- Cooperation is enabled.
- Win/Win is enabled.
- I'm not using "social media" to sell anything. I'll like you better if you don't try to sell me anything. Your "marketing" may be the enemy of your brand.
- My networking is for relational, non-commercial purposes. Though I have over 300 LinkedIn connections, it's not about quantity, it's about quality. I want to network with people who share my values and interests.
- "The No Asshole Rule" (Robert Sutton) is enabled. If you're an asshole, please don't offer to connect with me.
- My connections are VISIBLE. if yours aren't, I think I knew you as a child. You were the kid who wanted to play with everybody else's toys but never shared yours.
- I have actual contact information in my "contact settings".
- In my group settings, "Allow group members to send me messages via LinkedIn" is enabled.
- I leave groups where every other "discussion" is really a push poll or an advertisement for somebody's business, book, website or blog.
- I stay in groups where group members carry on real discussions about ideas.
- I believe BNi is a cult and that making members pledge only to refer business to other BNi members is against the spirit of networking.
Pseudonymity and anonymity are the enemies of civility. I'm old enough to remember when that first electronic social media phenomenon, CB radio, was civil and polite, when people used their real names on the air. Then people started hiding behind "handles". I block Twitterers who hide behind CB handles. Ditto LinkedIn. I remember how obscene and rude CB became when nobody knew anyone else's identity anymore.
And for all you "marketing gurus" out there who think social media is just another way to hawk a service or a product, remember this: even if your "marketing" doesn't sell anything, everything you do or say either enhances or diminishes your brand because, as Marty Neumeier said, your brand isn't what you say it is, "it's what they say it is."