Despite emails that are misleading such as “Connect to your colleagues from SCBWI” LinkedIn was not designed as a social connection site, but for professional networking. Yes, SCBWI is a professional organization, but please bear with me and read on. The LinkedIn system has no idea how large of an organization SCBWI is—it’s only using keywords to create these messages. Connecting with someone on LinkedIn who is an SCBWI member you have not met is not the same as on other social media sites. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., LinkedIn says, “We strongly recommend that you only accept invitations to connect from people you know.”
LinkedIn’s Vision is to “create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” Two of the tabs are “jobs” and “work.” If you’ve ever declined an invitation, you’ll see the “I don’t know this person” small window pop up on the left. That’s a report system. If someone gets too many of these, LinkedIn may restrict their account.
Dave Roos says, “a LinkedIn profile page is essentially an online résumé.” This article, “The Difference Between Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, & Pinterest,” by Karisa Egan, explains, “LinkedIn is different from the rest of the social media outlets because it’s specifically designed for business and professionals. Users mainly go to LinkedIn to showcase their job experience and professional thoughts, making it one of the more important platforms to use for those in B2B.” (B2B – business to business).
Does that mean SCBWI members should never connect on LinkedIn. Of course not. I connect with those I’ve worked with in various volunteer capacities. I can validate their “work experience” because I know their capabilities. I don’t connect with people I don’t know. I personally leave that mostly to Twitter, however, I do connect with many people through Facebook groups. And don’t forget the SCBWI Blueboards are a great place to connect.
So, please don’t be offended if even though we’ve met at a conference or event, or you’re also a children’s writer, that I don’t accept your LinkedIn invitation.