linkedin I’m at LinkedIn, of course. I’m not that active — I push my tweets there and try to go over there once a week, but that’s about it.

But this morning I had forwarded to me an email from this guy. I liked the email. I do not know the guy at all. I went and looked him up on LinkedIn and I see that I am connected to him in several surprising ways.

For one thing, I know three of his second-degree connections. None of these people know each other, as far as I know, and they are from completely different worlds as far as my connections with them go. I don’t get to see his connections with them, so it could be that there is some other person whom I do not know who knows all these people, or there might be three different links.

This guy and I also share four skills. For people in completely different fields, that’s a lot.

I invited him to connect with me. As with the woman I discovered on Facebook who seemed to have so much in common with me, I figure these invitations are pretty meaningless and do not constitute excessive familiarity. It’s easy to ignore them — as the Facebook woman did.

But it’s nice to be able to offer a connection to someone just because you like the way they wrote an email. Before social media, we might meet — or almost meet — someone and really feel that there was or could be a connection, but have no way to gain an introduction. This way we can at least reach out, even if they don’t choose to reach back to us.