I’ll show you my LinkedIn network, so why hide yours?

I confess to being a reasonably active user of LinkedIn for several reasons

– provided everyone keeps their own contact details up to date, it provides an easy way for me to keep my address book updated when people move roles
– it uncovers relationships I would otherwise have never been aware of between people I know
– it helps me to develop new business relationships via warm introductions

There are many features I wish it had such as highlighting to me via a volume ranking those people who are known to many of my contacts, but whom I am not connected to – implication being it is probably someone I should meet/talk to. Likewise, something akin to the Facebook friendwheel and TrustedOpinion facilities would be most useful in highlighting relationships.

However, the one thing I don’t understand though is why people keep their LinkedIn contacts/network secret. Ultimately everyone on LinkedIn has chosen to publicly post their details. It’s also a networking site, which usually mean that people are making themselves available to be approached. Moreover, in accepting an invitation from someone it usually means you aren’t ashamed to be associated with them and hence it can go on public disclosure.

Whilst there are no prizes or glory in having many contacts, I am intrigued by who people are connected to and it often sparks new conversations. Moreover, people who can facilitate introductions to the mutual benefit of those introduced will always be valued.

So what is the rationale behind hiding your network?

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