Are you a collector or a curator?

I recently saw an update on LinkedIn about one of my contacts touting the fact that she had reached 5000 connections on LinkedIn. It is an impressive number, for sure. But I am concerned that the number is more quantity than quality. Like the full library of Pauly Shore movies.

I have a rule when it comes to accepting or requesting LinkedIn connections. We have to actually have some connection. We have to have had an encounter or experience together. Or when you contact me, we have to develop a relationship based on something or someone we know in common. In other words, when I file you away in the card catalog in my head, there has to be something meaningful to write on the card besides your Dewey Decimal System number.

By applying these rules I maintain the value of my network. If someone contacts me and says, “I see you know Morris Day. What can you tell me about him?’ or ‘I see we both know Nikki! How do you know her?’ I like to have a great answer and provide value to others in my network. For example:

Yes, I know Morris Day! We met in a jungle. Morris LOVES jungles. And birds.

or

Of course I know Nikki! She’s darling. I met her in a hotel lobby. It’s kind of a crazy story…

When I don’t know someone, but let them into my network, it dilutes the value of my network. And in a small way, it dilutes me as a valuable resource to others.

I currently have 2,939 connections on LinkedIn. I have 1,565 friends on Facebook. But if you asked me about any of them I can tell you how we know each other. And I can tell you a bit about who they are. (And if they are a pirate I can even tell you how they Arrrgh.) So if you notice that I know someone that you want to know, or want to know more about, let me know. #rare4knowsentence

Key Takeaway

If you’re just collecting people, places or things then anything goes. There is no discernment. But if you want to add real value you must curate. You must care for your collection. Criteria must be set, and met. It is true at work, in your network, and in your principles and values. It is true in your personal life. It applies to your social media and the people you vouch for. Remember, the more challenging your criteria, the more value you create.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

If you enjoy messages like this (and random pop culture references) you’ll like my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media. Available on Amazon now. -@m

Hello. Who wants to play Adele Roulette?

You’d have to be living in a connectivity-free prepper bunker right now to not know that Adele’s new album release, 25, is the hottest thing since global warming. Because even though we live in an era when people don’t buy music anymore Adele has sold 5 million albums in just 3 weeks. This uber-talented singer is everywhere. TV, radio, online, magazine, newspapers, billboards (I saw 3 giant Adele-faced billboards on one block on the sunset strip in Hollywood last week). I even check the shower before I get in each morning to make sure Adele’s not in there.

At The Perfect Agency Project we are always looking for opportunities to take advantage of culture phenomenon. And if we can rope in our favorite technologies to expand the fun, even better. So we’ve created a social game called Adele Roulette to ride the Tsunami that is Adele 25.

Here’s how you play:

1. Create a group of at least two people. Use your social network to play with people all over the country or all over the world. I like to ask people on Facebook or Twitter to RSVP to my game invitations with a simple “Hello”.

2. Pick a start time. First thing in the morning is always a good way to play.

3. Once the game starts, see who can go the longest without encountering anything Adele related. Once you hear an Adele song, see a picture of her, hear someone talk about her, read about her, or hear someone sing one of her songs you are eliminated.

4. You then have to message your group through Facebook, Twitter, text or whatever other digital connective tissue you are using to tell the team you’re out. Then make sure to describe the circumstances of your elimination.

4. The last person un-Adeleified is the winner.

The games tend to go fast. And the eliminations are unpredictable. I’ve been eliminated by my daughter singing Hello in the car (which was a particularly surprising audio shot to that back of my head). Terry Bradshaw eliminated another friend of mine on Sunday during NFL pre-game activities. Yet another friend was taken out by an online video of a toddler singing Hello while strumming a cardboard guitar. Sharing the assassination stories is the best part of the game.

So let’s give Adele Roulette a whirl. If you’ve read this far consider yourself part of my next game. And respond to this post with your elimination story. Good luck my friends. You’re going to need it.