I recently decided to get into the online networking experience. I chose to use Linked In (as you can see) and I am sure Facebook isn't too far away.
Previously I tried online groups at friends' requests but got cynical about it being a 'people collector' in virtual space with meaningless comments posted for the sake of it.
For some this may still be the case.
Now I see differently and find the whole experience amazing.
Why? This site surely must be just a bunch of people putting their resumes online, right?
No it is more than that if you look with an open mind at the amazing power of the content and potential connection available.
Degrees of closeness, not separation
One of the big features of Linked In that I like are the numbers of degrees of separation - ie who you know in someone else's network.
I am already fascinated by the concept of degrees of separation in real life. I love it when you meet someone new and they end up being a friend of someone you know really well.
For online networking though I see these connections more as degrees of closeness. By being connected virtually to other people’s networks you have the potential to connect with other people and bring them closer to you!
So here a few insights on the experience so far...
- It is really interesting to know who you know in common but did not realise until you looked online.
- Losing touch with someone is no excuse if they are in some form of online networking. A quick search and you can reconnect.
- Keeping in touch with people takes effort. Reconnecting to people you lost touch with simply requires humility and authenticity.
- Your ability to create connection with others is so much greater. You provide the link between people so they can choose whether to initiate contact.
- It is so much fun to find people you have lost contact with and see what they are up to.
- You can make the experience as meaningful or as casual as you want.
- The more you connect to people on line through people you already know, the more chance you have of meeting them in the real world with a more meaningful connection.
- You are truly a global citizen connected to people on all continents.
So if you have not joined an online networking site, do so today. Then start to see who you can get back in touch with, introduce others to and genuinely introduce yourself to.
Dale Carnegie still applies!
One of my favourite books I read when I was young was Dale Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. In this new age I believe that his words from 1936 still apply and should be remembered when we are online just as if we were in person!
- Become genuinely interested in people.
- Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
- Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.
And I would like to add my own comments…
- Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good story about you that can help others.
- Be open so others will be with you.
- Just because you are online doesn't mean you should forget to stay in touch the old fashioned way - face to face or the phone.
- Take the risk to be out there and see where it takes you. You never know!
So if you are reading this post and I sent you a request to reconnect please know I really mean it. If we know each other and I have not sent you a request yet then please get in touch and lets reconnect.
Let’s go there…