John W. Sone
I find the "favor rule" a bit self-serving. Connections should be people you are acquainted with. If you haven't been introduced and you haven't exchanged any communication with a prospective connection, you're better off as a second degree acquaintance. Distant associates might first introduce themselves to you prior to inviting you to connect with them. People who have not interacted with you and are not memorable, do not yet have a connection with you and should not think less of you for not accepting an invitation. (Of course this doesn't apply to community managers.) I will gladly discard my brand in favor of a more authentic identify.