While I have a day-to-day job, I consider my open source contributions to be a part of my professional life. I highlight them during job interviews, and accordingly, I would like to treat my contacts from the FLOSS world as a part of my professional network.
Accordingly, I would like to add these people in my LinkedIn profile. Usually, they have no objections at all to this idea when I ask for their permission, so I happily open LinkedIn, ready to add the respective person ... just to be presented with the usual trick question that gives me headaches for almost every of my contacts:
How do you know Tony Testcase?
I get plenty of options, none of which seem to fit:
In theory, yes (colleague within a given project), but I have to select one of the companies from my CV. My FLOSS contributions are not related to any of the companies I worked for, however. On the other hand, while LinkedIn allows defining contributions to projects, these projects do not appear in the dropdown list.
Well, no. Doesn't fit.
We've done business together
Essentially, this would be my favourite. Unfortunately, once again, LinkedIn insists that I choose one of my former or current employers.
This is the fallback I usually choose, even though it seems rather pushy to me. While I am on friendly terms with my FLOSS contacts, most of them are far from what I would consider a "friend". I am aware this is culturally dependent, but in my local culture (Germany), I would not even describe work colleagues who I occasionally see in my spare time as "friends". Consequently, I find it presumptuous to ask FLOSS contacts with who I have exchanged at most a few organizational e-mails to consider me a "friend", as I seem to be doing when I choose this option on LinkedIn.
With this said, this seems to be the only viable option for FLOSS contacts, as it does not require any additional information.
This would be fitting, for lack of any better options, but it seems to check whether I know "the e-mail address" of the person I am connecting to that is stored on LinkedIn. For FLOSS development, I have, on various occasions, only been in touch via Skype, or via an e-mail address supplied by SourceForge, etc.
I don't know Tony Testcase
This is too distanced by the same amount that the Friend option from above is too pushy.
I am aware this is not an important problem and it doesn't really matter, but I try to keep my data tidy, so I wonder whether there is a best practice for this situation.