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I have a reasonably large LinkedIn network, and as such, I receive LOTS of requests for introductions, networking, etc. as the end user and as a conduit for third parties. If you’re in my LinkedIn network, I’m now going to start including a little text nibblet in the introductions I forward, as follows:

  • TL0 – Trust Level 0. Out of courtesy, I’m passing along this request. I know nothing about the deal being talked about and do not endorse it in any way.
  • TL1 – Trust Level 1. I know the party immediately referring this to me, and trust them, so whatever trust they pass along in their private note to me, I’m passing along as well, but I still don’t endorse the offer/deal/introduction.
  • TL2 – Trust Level 2. I know the party and the deal all the way back to the origin if it’s a 3rd level connection, and I trust the parties earlier in the chain. Because I trust them, I am willing to endorse the offer/deal/introduction insofar as I know it’s not fraudulent or spam.
  • TL3 – Trust Level 3. I know everything in the chain up to me, and I heartily and wholly endorse the offer/deal/introduction and strongly encourage you to connect and make good things happen, as I believe it’s to both parties’ benefit.

Needless to say, much of what I pass along on LinkedIn will be TL0. Here’s what a sample request will look like:

Hey there. Passing along an intro/deal/etc. TL0. – CSP

How are you managing trust on LinkedIn and other recommendation-style sites?

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