Is this what business networking all about ? – and why is the Linked in not growing anymore

Linked in is the leading business network on the web today, however it became a collectors website rather then a business network. The heavy “linked in” users define themselves as networking experts however they do not even know what networking is. They simply keep collecting e-mail addresses, some even prevent others to reach their personal connections. As a result, the network growth is going slowly down, people are not even bothering to change their e-mail addresses anymore.

I have been a member of the linked in for quite sometimes. Though I registered earlier, I didn't really understood then the impotence of networking on-line. Later on I became an active member and build my link based on my real personal contacts. I never understood how can people gather thousands of contacts. The answer for this I also found out later on.

Networking the way I see it is a relationship based on sharing our connections in order to help other connections we have and in return when we will need help it will be there.

I have plenty of contacts myself, not in the level of the top Linked In users however unlike these “top networking experts”, My network is based on people I know and worked with, people that I met and worked with, and those that helped me and I helped them.

I never ever refused to help, even though it was not always possible. This is a relationship.

Some times ago I asked one of my contacts, (4500 contacts !) to connect me with one of her contacts. She refused saying she don't know me good enough to pass me over. This answer infuriated me, this woman joined my network (or asked me to join her network) not understanding what it means. She didn't even considered it because this valuable contact she had could refuse connection himself.

The “Linked in” became a competition between a group of people (some has 7000 connections and one even got 14000) who will collect more e-mail addresses. They have no idea who are the people behind their big number. They add 100-1000 connections a month and that means that this is all they do in their lives. This is not networking guys/girls this is stamp collection !

When I have a new connection I read his profile and learn more about him, and when he asks for help I usually goes to my list and draw the right person and try to help.

Recently I took my networking a little further and built the PMBCom system it was designed to provide my users a better business capabilities, not to share connection but to show what there is behind: products, articles, classified ads, links and to communicate directly.

The result is interesting, My real connections joined immediately while those big shots, who joined my network just to have me as another address they collected, stayed away from it, yet.

So I went to the Linked in statistics and noticed that the whole network isn't growing anymore !! it is stuck, people does not bother to invite others from the outside, they simply look inside and invite people that are available and thats it. Its faster as this way I can invite 6 people every 2 minutes. But its not networking, and certainly not business.

People gives themselves the title “Networking expert” simply because they have a huge contacts list. But they do not use it and they do not make new real contacts. A guy that collected 14,000 contacts must have been working only on this in the past 3 years, he didn't have the time to do anything else, certainly not use it.

Business networks are not a competition, its about being able to use your contacts directly (to work with them, hire them, being hired by them or to cooperate with them), or indirectly help one contact to reach a person he need by finding the right one and making the initial contact between them.

The PMBCom network was set up to take it further, I trust my contacts (my real contacts) to join in and produce their stuff and DO BUSINESS. I do not expect the so called “Experts” to join in as they have nothing to offer, and they will certainly will not offer their valuable anonymous e-mail addresses to join in.

But all the rest of the world is invited. Just go to Artists, manufacturers, film makers, retailers, craftsman, IT experts, anyone… its open to anyone with no limitation.