I’ve become a little more understanding about the lame robotic invitations that are suggested by default by most social network services when you invite a new member. I’ve been told that providing the user with a canned invitation instead of requiring that the user write their own increases the utility of the invitation service.
At the very least, though, I still regard that moment of sending an invitation to be an opportunity to rise above the common sward and send a personalized note. I recently received a LinkedIn invitation from Mark Glaser that was witty and engaging. I’d have agreed to connect with him anyway, but it was a pleasure to read an actual message rather than a spammy-sounding sub-email type of communique.
Scot Hacker recently sent his wife a generic LinkedIn invitation and learned that it was not particularly endearing (birdhouse.org: LinkedIn Invitation: Decidedly Unromantic):
Every now and then someone sends me an invite to hook up with them on LinkedIn. I generally accept the invites, but have never done much with the service, aside from getting back in touch with a few old Ziff colleagues. Yesterday Amy discovered the site. We didn’t find ourselves automatically in one another’s networks, so I sent her invite. This morning I hear her reading her email out loud, in a voice dripping with sarcasm:
“You are a person I trust. I’d like to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn. I’m using it to discover inside connections I didn’t know I had.” And then, “Gosh honey, you’re SO romantic.”
Marriage tip: When sending a LinkedIn invitation to your life partner, edit the default text before sending.