I’m struggling a bit with what to do when contacted by someone I don’t know — say on LinkedIn or Melcrum’s Communicators’ Network — asking to add me as a contact.

On LinkedIn, you can edit the note sent to include some context (such as “we have this contact in common” or “this contact suggested you and I should connect”), which is helpful. Communicators’ Network just sends the request, so you are left puzzling out who the person is and why they have your name. The trigger seems to be having a contact in common, which you find out by visiting the person’s profile.

Now all you early adopters, is the point to add all your contact’s contacts to your own network, so yours grows ever larger (and presumably more impressive)? Or is your network generally made up of people you already know or have met (in person or online)?