Netiquette: my experience with some contacts on LinkedIn
Gathering contacts on LinkedIn is usually a positive experience, always a good way to meet new people and share information and knowledge. Yet sometimes it can feel a pain. Here comes a short point of view.
I have met very interesting people on LinkedIn, who gave me (or keep giving) good opinions about the IT world and from whom I could learn a lot. I am always pleased to meet new people, share my knowledge and learn from others. Since it's the only social network (except Twitter) which I do use on a regular basis, I try to keep it as much clean and polite as I can to get the best I can get from it. Of course this is in addition to the (largest part) of people I have met in person.
Sometimes it happen to get invitations from unknown people with the standard message generated from LinkedIn, an empty profile and sometimes poorly written. Recently the "introduction texts" has being fulfilled with promotional texts and gift "coupons" (get an iPad by contacting me < of this kind), or names showing up how many people someone has in his/her own Network.
What really pisses me off, and I find it very rude, is getting a message, really poorly written (not even taking care of checking the spelling of their messages), asking for recommendations, information, job inquiries, study material or not well understood partnership opportunities. Seriously, why should I (or anybody else) endorse a perfect stranger or share technical documentation (violating copyrights)? Knowledge should be free, and I agree about that, which doesn't necessary mean getting to it through people who earned it (and possibly invested in their own knowledge).
Personally I find it very rude, which usually brings me to delete a contact from my list.
I don't really care about having thousands of contacts, but I can say I have a high respect for all my contacts.
I may be a little too rough or perhaps be too "emotional" about that, but I have to say I miss netiquette quite a lot, when there were rules and respect when meeting someone...
Disclaimer (or sorta)
I still will not refuse any kind of contact request, but unsolicited messages, SPAM or non-sense information/endorsement requests will finish into the trash can.