A Proud Member of the LinkedIn Generation

How one baby boomer executive learned to love the social network for business contacts. Don't ask him to be a Facebook friend, though.

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to his Facebook account and encouraged me to join.

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I just couldn’t do it. Facebook seems to me to belong in the same general category as Tom Wolfe’s best seller, I Am Charlotte Simmons, about a young woman who discovers that college is all about booze, sex and bad behavior. Facebook, I thought, is the domain of Gen Y. Boomers like me need not apply.

But his e-mail did have an effect on me.

The very next day, I received another one of those annoying invitations from a colleague encouraging me to join his LinkedIn network. And even though over the past few years I have, as a matter of habit, ignored these invites from people I know (and often from people I don’t), this time, perhaps inspired by my brush with Facebook, I said to myself, “Why not?” and accepted.

And surprise, surprise, I had forgotten that I had registered as a member of the LinkedIn community about a year ago and had about 150 standing invitations to get connected.

Over one weekend, I dived deep into LinkedIn and I was impressed. I connected with business colleagues and business friends, some whom I had not communicated with in more than 10 years.

Want to have some fun? Using me as your direct or second-level contact (since we’re all members of the greater CIO community, yes?), let’s build the largest audience of C-level execs on LinkedIn.

If you’re a CIO, CTO or CSO, and a member of LinkedIn, invite me to join your network. If you want to join, but aren’t a LinkedIn member, go to www.linkedin.com, register and then send me an invite.

I will not block my “connections” link on my account, so anyone who links to me will be able to see all my C-level contacts.

Let Gen Y have Facebook; I will take my LinkedIn network.

I look forward to linking with you.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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