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This post will be a relatively quick one that is a mini-rant. If you are “rant-averse,” then turn away now. My rant has to do with a piece of LinkedIn etiquette. LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important in the world of business networking. I am hesitant to call the service a social network. It’s really a business networking play which takes out a lot of the silly minutiae that sharing on Twitter and Facebook can enable. By being about business there is less tolerance for the “I just passed gas” kind of updates that make many lose their cookies. (Get it? It’s an Internet pun.)

That being said, we have seen recently that LinkedIn is doing very well as a business and is proving to be useful to professionals. LinkedIn advertising seems to be catching on and the service is now eyeballing exactly how it can become more of a content publisher since the business world doesn’t have enough publishing outlets already (I kid, I kid!).

Anyway, the service is doing well. That means more people are likely to get on it. I was one of the first million to get on board way back when but it was not until recently that I started to realize the potential the service holds for me and my business efforts.

But it was during this rediscovery that I turned over one rock that revealed a venomous snake in the tall grass of LinkedIn. It’s the person that shouldn’t be allowed to exist in the network but does. I don’t have the raw numbers but just one of these kind in your group is more than enough.

So who is it? It’s the non-connection sharer. It’s that person who thinks that they crap butterflies and are so important that they wouldn’t share their connections with a commoner such as yourself.

Oh wait, you’re one of those people? Shame on you. Not sure why you think your connections are worth protecting while you mooch off of others but it’s a pretty slimy move. I wish LinkedIn would give a warning as to whether a person shares their connections or not. It’s pretty easy at that point because I would NEVER (yup I used the “n” word) link to a person again that does that.

So why you ask? I think that practice says a lot about what kind of person you are dealing with and it’s not pretty. It’s a person that you should figure would withhold data from you if it benefited them even though it might help you as well. It’s a person who would doesn’t like reciprocating in any way because they can’t be bothered. It’s a person who is, in a word, selfish beyond most acceptable social levels (since we all are to one degree or another). Frankly, it’s a person that maybe you shouldn’t trust.

So there you go. I said it. If you don’t share your connections on LinkedIn but are running around linking to people and using theirs you are the worst kind of social media user. What’s that you ask? Well, you are actually a social media USER. You use people and don’t feel any need to help or be part of anything other than your own needs. I suspect you use people in other ways as well and don’t even blink.

Anyway, I could go on and on. If I offended you because you disagree with my assessment I’m not sorry. In case you didn’t know it, you have offended every one of the people who have linked to you by not sharing. Hard to feel bad for you when it’s put that way.

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