You cannot argue with the math of LinkedIn. But I can argue with the way I received 0s from 2 people who made some recent LinkedIn math unproductive for me, and for them.

Twice in 2 weeks I asked 2 great colleagues if they (each) knew someone that I discovered they were connected to, someone I wanted to know more about, to help another person, i.e., not about helping me directly.

The answer was no. Twice.

So I asked out loud in the privacy of my office, “why the heck are you connected to people you do not know, or do not have any reference point about?”

Are you collecting names? This is not contributing to your or LinkedIn’s goals.

Does it make sense, letting someone in to your group of connections without knowing or trusting them? Does this help me make a cross-connection for my client when you don’t know the targeted person, but it seems you do via LinkedIn until someone like me asks you?

Each had an explanation for why they connected in the first place, but the reasoning left me flat.

Yes, they are entitled to utilize LinkedIn any way that makes sense for them, but the end result was 0, twice, and that made me go back to the drawing board with a lot less nurturing to implant into the interconnectivity goal I had hoped for. No nutrients to my relationship with the persons I sought to help. Twice.

If I used emoticons, I would drop in the sad teary-eyed face here. Make that 2. But I won’t and I don’t.

I’ll save you the disappointment I felt, only to hope for a better response the next time I ask.. I will optimistically anticipate that the next mathematical equation I inquire about from a connection will reap dividends greater that 1.

Don’t connect with people you do not know.