Online “social” networking isn’t the big mystery that some people think it is. It has the same elements of networking that have held up since the beginning of time. In fact, if I were to guess, the creators of the popular network, LinkedIn, probably developed the idea like this:
They recognized that they got to where they were in their professional – and personal –lives because of someone they knew, who knew someone who knew someone else who was able to help them through this or that challenge. Whether that involved getting into schools, jobs, or apartments, finding financing, mentors, business partners, or customers, a good deal, a trustworthy professional or valuable advice, their progress or success was built upon how well they were connected.
Then, one evening, these same people were sitting around a table sharing a meal and began jotting down on napkins every thing they could think of that was related to how they built their networks of people to get where they were that day. They started drawing diagrams of how each of those pieces fit together.
Maybe some of them were engineers, and they began to see the whole thing being replicated and propagated via Internet technology. So, they took the napkins and started building the application tools, with the help of financing from someone in their network. And, as a result of their networks –including the people in their network they were having dinner with that night, they had recreated, virtually on the Web, what humans had been doing in the bricks and mortar world since the dawn of time.
So, what’s my point? My point is this; if you understand that your network of people, the one you’ve been building and nurturing over a lifetime, is mission critical to your life, and you can break down the steps you took to develop it, you’re going to see the value in online social networking.
Building a valuable network is a lifelong endeavor. How mission critical is yours? Leave a comment.