Today I was invited by 5 people to connect on Naymz. . . I was also invited to connect to another dozen on Plaxo . . .10 on Linkedin and a myriad of others on a myriad of other services. I also found out that about 400 people whose card I once touched at a conference or in a meeting have updated their profile, blog or some other aspect of their life. Do I really need to know all this?
There is no established etiquette yet. If there were, people I hardly know would not keep sending invitations. It doesn't upset me, it takes virtually no time to ignore the invitation and sometimes it is even fun to try to figure out who the person is. I just always feel like I am offending someone. On the other hand, by accepting the invitation I am either joining a whole new service or in the case of the one service in which I participate, inviting them to ask for introductions to everyone I selected to connect with.
Many believe that every person on the planet is only six degrees away. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, I am connected to every single person on the planet. I could take some comfort in knowing I can reach out to every citizen of China and be introduced by someone they know, but I just don't.