I had a wonderful coffee with a new colleague this morning, Chris Rollyson. We talked about SO many wonderful things that have been on my mind, and my blog, for sometime now. We covered topics including the importance of content AND management in online community strategy, integrating customers and their experiences into the product development process, cultural divides that are forming in this new digital age and methods to bridge those divides among other things. It is always great to talk shop with someone in the field, especially when there is no project attached and it’s just philosophizing.
One of the great things about social networking online is all of the new OFFLINE contacts you can translate that into. I met Chris through another colleague, Steven Jones from CapableNetworks, who I met at the Online Community unconference last month. We reconnected at the recent Chicago TechCocktail, where he introduced me to Chris. I am now, of course, connected to both of them on various online social networks, but have also had the opportunity to have great talks with them both offline. In both cases, we all were able to read up on each other’s professional interests and background so that we could jump right into conversations form the material we read and connections we saw online.
Basically I just wanted to post about the power of networking on and offline and how, if you set your goal as establishing relationships with people, rather than collecting business cards you will never use, it is so rewarding to get out there, virtually and not.
On a similar note… I recently resynced my gmail address book to LinkedIn to check if any of my new contacts were already on the LinkedIn network and saw an interesting trend. Many friends who were already in my address book last time I synced now popped up with new LinkedIn accounts. When I sent them emails saying as much and requesting to connect, more than a few said that they had just signed up and weren’t clear on the value of LinkedIn. This is reminiscent of early 2006 when people were joining MySpace without really understanding why.
I told my newly LinkedIn friends stories of finding jobs for friends by leveraging my network and my friends network. I also told them to hang in there, as I felt that site was going to get better as more and more people join. Chris Rollyson has written an unofficial guide to LinkedIn for executives for those of you fielding similar questions form your friends/colleagues.
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