Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's about real connections, not numbers

Dear All, I’d like to expand my network…It’s a statement that’s all too popular on LinkedIn Groups. It’s a bad side effect of the counters used on the various social networking sites – how many friends, how many connections, how many followers and the egos they create as the numbers climb. It’s time to return to the old adage, quality over quantity. Social networking, like traditional networking should be about making real connections, not to serve as a collection spot for the contact information of hundreds of people you don’t know and will probably never know.

I'm not saying don't connect with people you know, even people you know loosely . But I am asking why would you want to connect with a complete stranger whose main goal is to increase the number of his or her connections? If there's no relationship, there's no need to pretend one exists.

Here's some advice for everyone who want to add more connections - get out and meet people. Go to conferences, networking events, seminars, volunteer for an organization that resonates with you, join a neighborhood group, etc. Meet people, have a conversation, think about what value you can offer them, then ask to connect.

Image by Wen Z.


1 comment:

juan carlos casas said...

so true. nicely said.... a breath of fresh air. i too find myself thinking sometime the same before hitting that famous enter/return button on the key pad...left wondering about anything real in those so called 'connections' with people we don't know and may never really will. although, staying open to the possibility has yielded some interest along the international e-waves of search engines.. i do support the whole idea about meeting people and talking. yet it feels most of the time people have time only for emails - one way conversations... and so the cycle of less human connection seems to strengthen and when you do get in front of someone, they are totally distracted, (uninterested) with their email device in their hands...how annoying yet we're all part of it at some level. im doing an event/social-something this year with no agenda except to get together, drink, snack and chat. i wonder what people and/or my accountant will think? everyone in this country always has a 2nd level agenda behind the niceties.... no ever talks to anyone unless they feel they can get something out it from tangible sense of business. aggressive we are and that's good compared to other societies, but we're running out of road and most traveling no where real except in circles...
anyway, some amphibian quality here on my part.
cheers, and stay human... jc
juan carlos@ribbitinc.com