I have mixed feelings about LinkedIn. On the one hand, I very much like the concept of having an online facility for keeping track of people I've worked with and would almost certainly otherwise lose all contact with. On the other hand, it's basically run as a spam farm. (Yes, I'm sure they stay clear of doing anything actually illegal. In fact, I'm sure they have a whole passel of lawyers whose job is to keep them from straying over the line. Too far over. That's the problem.) I've spent hours trying to imagine how it might be possible to run such a network as a non-profit. (As a viable non-profit, that is; running it as a non-profit on the road to bankruptcy would be trivial.) And concluded that it's going to take something entirely out of left field — a black swan, to use a locution from this century — to dislodge LinkedIn. And so, with feelings very much reminiscent of those times when I've had to choose between don't do the thing and use Microsoft Windows to do the thing, I continue to use LinkedIn.
(Which is an odd way to lead in to my actual point here. But then, until an hour ago, at no time in the past three weeks did I expect my first post-election LJ post to be anything other than an anguished mediation I'd end up entitling something like Whither America?)
Anyway. After accepting the invitations, I scrolled through people you may know, quickly spotting a dozen people I'd at the very least want to spend five minutes catching up with if I saw them at a trade show. I suspect that what a person who was actually versed in twenty-first century social customs would do is just click the "Connect" button under those people's names. But I wanted to check with you all first. Not least because the years sometimes seem to have done nothing whatsoever to diminish my capacity for getting social cues completely wrong.
So, do normal people, when they find themselves scrolling through LinkedIn's people you may know, just click the "Connect" button when they see someone they'd at least want to say hi to if they saw them in person?