Networking is more than technology

The last few years has seen the rise of Internet based social networking. Web sites like Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and others have done a lot for networking but it seems like a lot of people think that networking stops as soon as you ‘connect’ with someone.

Charles Green at the Trust Matters Blog had a great post on the topic titled “Larry David, Seinfeld and Social Networking“, with some excellent and insightful comments about social networking.

For example:

The technology of social networking is overrated. You still have to be able to communicate

Great advice…and that’s just the first two sentences of his post! The rest of the post is outstanding…to be able to weave the antics of Larry David (the co-creator of Seinfeld) and the Seinfeld show with social networking is genius.

My spin on Charles’ post is that in order to ‘do’ networking, you have to actually get out there and meet people face to face and even fall a few times. You won’t really gain the most value from your network unless you truly try to understand the other person and how you can really help them.

Oh yeah…you have to understand that networking isn’t about “how can they help me”….when you approach networking the right way, it’s about “how can I help them

You have to see the human side of your ‘network’….regardless of how many times you email or call someone, the face to face meeting is still the best way to get to know your network.

If you want to take a look at other topics on networking you should check out Thom Singer’s “Some Assembly Required” blog, especially his “Tips for Better Networking“.

4 responses to “Networking is more than technology”

  1. thom singer Avatar

    Eric- Great post. you are soooo right that many people think that online social networking sites are the “magic bullet” to making business connections. WRONG. they are just a tool. It still takes effort to make, grow and keep business relationships.

    Also, thank you for the honorable mention of by blog.


  2. Eric Brown Avatar

    Absolutely correct Thom. It takes a lot of work to grow your contacts into a network and no amount of technology will create the network of people that think about you when they have a need. The technology can help keep you connected, but it won’t help with building the relationships.

  3. Steve Wiley Avatar

    Interesting. I just read an article by frustrated John C. Dvorak. You should check it out. He’s fed up with the new “ubiquitous” social networking on the web.,1759,2222790,00.asp

  4. Eric Brown Avatar

    Great link Steve. I especially like Dvorak’s comment of:

    “What has been overlooked in the entire social-networking scheme is that at its core, it’s not social networking but marketing”