Antisocial Journalist Discovers LinkedIn… and becomes a Fan

This is a fun story, courtesy of the Boston Herald.  Reminds me a bit of my mother’s conversion last year to a true LinkedIn fan:

Boston Herald: Antisocial Critic Now Web Phanatic

I finally caved to peer pressure last week, convinced that the “best time to look for a job is when you’re not looking” cliche is all too true. Uploading my e-mail address book into the LinkedIn system, I invited nearly 300 personal and business associates to publicly admit they know me.

“Hi there!

After years of avoiding social networking like the plague, I’ve finally decided to show up to the dance.

Using “plague” and “dance” is a mixed metaphor to be sure, but please forgive me.

We’ve been in touch previously for one of my Boston Herald columns or TV production assignments, and I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Pretending I’m asking for a date to the prom for an agonizing 300 times might have been too cutesy for some recipients. But I thought it was much better than the trust pitch.

A funny thing happened over the next few days. The annoying process of networking became enjoyable. Scratch that. I actually found LinkedIn to be addicting.

“Darren, welcome to the dance!” wrote Joe, a business development guy for a local engineering firm. “Those of us who are poet/artists in marketers’ clothing see (social networking) for what it is – a sort of goofy/fun thing that could actually pay off in many ways.

“So welcome, and may you use your new powers for good not evil. You’ll probably want a Blackberry next – don’t fight it, they’re cool.”

Who would RSVP to my invitation next? How high could I get my number of contacts? I found myself in an undeclared competition with my co-workers. A guy down the hall went to college with one of my favorite TV meteorologists. When he added her to his network, the office considered it a major coup.

At LinkedIn, we spend most of our time working on new and useful ways of leveraging your professional network and professional reputation to make you more effective on a daily basis.  But it’s still amazing to me how emotionally powerful the basic “reconnect” features can be for people.

I think this journalist did a great job capturing how good that first euphoric wave of connection can feel for someone just discovering LinkedIn.  It’s a lot of fun to see in print.