Sorcerer’s Apprentice on LinkedIn: Get the Mop


Do you remember the scene in the Disney movie, Fantasia, when Mickey finds the Sorcerer’s Book of Magic? Mickey got in trouble for reading only half of the directions in the Book of Magic. That was my mistake, twice — once when pressing the first button on Linked In, again when trying to clean up the mistake.

So what happened? I’ve been trying to slow down my acquisition of Linked In contacts partly because I was getting overwhelmed but mostly because I thought I would have to pay for extra space. (Wrong, as I found out.)

That’s the background.

About 9 a.m. Sunday night I was noodling around and spotted a siren call. “Check to see who, on your email list, could be invited to Linked In.” I did this once before and accidentally invited everybody on my email list to, swooping up lots of people like my husband’s retired first cousin who apologized profusely about not wanting to join.

This time I was sure I knew what I was doing. Just select four of the 364 people in my gmail list. Press button. I sent out 360 invitations.

Some went to people I know, others to people I don’t know that well but who are perfectly logical to link to, but many to travel agencies and PR people who have emailed me once.

Think back to where Mickey gets the bucket and mop, times two, times 200, times 2,000.

I reached for the mop. According to the Help section on Linked In, I could withdraw each invitation and “no message will be sent.” That sounded like the unintentionally invited folks would never know. No message would be sent, right? Blissfully ignoring my lurking suspicion that a first message had already been sent, I carefully deleted most of the 360 invitations. How long does that take? About 90 minutes, at five keystrokes each.

Whew. I went to bed, figuring I could at last sleep well. I didn’t sleep well. And I woke up to some puzzled email messages, like this one.

“Just wanted to ask, was it something I said :)”

It turns out that “No message will be sent” means “No second message will be sent.” So when the eager Linker goes to click “yes” the cupboard is bare.

How insulting! How obnoxious! What a slap in the face! What to do?

Since Emily Post lacked advice on this 21st century problem, I asked communications trainer and coach Ken Jacobs, who had good advice, including blogging about it in a “humorous, appealing tone.” Said Jacobs: “I believe that people are understanding when you own up, apologize, and show a little humor.”


Okay, so here it is. If you are getting this, and you were puzzled, discombobulated, or otherwise thrown off balance by getting my LinkedIn invite — only to find it didn’t work — I humbly apologize. Bit by bit, I’ll go back through that list and give us both another chance. If you want to say yes, I’m sure we’ll make beautiful networking music together. Or, to speed it up, get proactive, just invite me, and I’ll say yes!

Cue Stokowski and Paul Dukas… . “Gee thanks, so long, I’ll be seein ya.”

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5 thoughts on “Sorcerer’s Apprentice on LinkedIn: Get the Mop

  1. Diana, I looked in a couple of references but couldn't find that answer. I have posted it on the Twitter feed using the #linkedin hash tag and will report back on this comment stream if I find the answer.One way to check: try to "de-link" a friend, letting her in on the secret, and then she can report to you what happened!

  2. I too accidentally push the button – "Check to see who, on your email list, could be invited to Linked In." and invitions were send out and people accepted it. The problem is that I didn't want those people connecting to me, because they are agents and etc… . How do I un-linked them ? Please help !!

  3. THIS IS THE PAGE ON LINKEDIN THAT YOU SHOULD IGNORE! It pops up frequently…..Find more people you know on LinkedInFind out which of your webmail contacts are already on LinkedIn.Select your webmail service:INSTEAD, ADD CONTACTS FROM THE "YOU MAY ALSO KNOW" BOX. MUCH SAFER.

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