Social Networking (in the technology sense) is here to stay (see blogs 6/14/12 Referral Network; 6/8/10 Networks; 10/14/09 Your Private Social Network). When you Google a name -- Linked-in; Google +; Facebook are the first three search results (biased by what search engine you use - Bing, Google, Yahoo).
Facebook has become the default family and friends (personal social network) while LinkedIn is the default business contacts (replacing the Rolodex file of business cards). My use of both of these sites is sporadic. I tend to accept all invitations as I explore how valuable these sites are in relationships. In fact instead of posting interests and thoughts to these sites, I have preferred to use a blog for that purpose.
A meeting today with J.O. (a new Vistage Chair), caused me to spend some time viewing my own LinkedIn account and all my 201 connections. I was surprised at some of the features - open vs closed network access; summary tags (by company; location; relationship; industries); and various search features that my free membership priviledges can access.
LinkedIn stock price dropped coincidentally today over 11%, after missing revenue expectations and providing a tepid outlook (which is what you would expect for a company with a PE over 1,200). It's power (and valuation) is based on the 225 million members (many of them free - like me) vs the pricey subscription cost (who really pays $75/mo??) for premium features.
I have 201 connections since joining LinkedIn (June 20, 2005) and all my connections have been from invitations (I can't remember not accepting an invitation). As I previewed these contacts today - I can't place (name, face, or company) how I met or was introduced to 32 of these individuals. I have seen, talked to, or emailed 65 of the individuals in the last year. That leaves 104 dormant people (that I recall) in my network.
Other statistics :)
(1) Only 75 of my contacts have an "open network" (open meaning I get to see all of their contacts and not just the ones we share).
(2) 82 of my contacts have a network of over 500 people (after 500 LinkedIn keeps this as a premium feature).
(3) 44 of the 82 "big network people" have "open networks" and 38 are "closed"
So what's the point? Do you really know (or nurture) your network?