I’m a big preacher and practitioner of the networking mantra. I am also a big believer in the concept that people and the relationships they keep are the catalysts for success.
In my world, networking is not just about making connections, but building enduring and mutually beneficial relationships. In today’s world, networking is probably the single most powerful tool to accelerate and sustain success for any individual – whether we are speaking about career, business or personal objectives.
Once upon a time, your network was only as big and as useful as the people you currently maintained day to day contact with. However, in the onslaught of the connected decade of the Naughties, social sites have sprung faster than a breeding pool of guppies.
This presents both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing is that you now have a convenient means to maintain a large network and not lose touch with those people who’s relationship with you have fostered. Even when you do not have the ability to catch up with them on a daily basis, you can keep track of their activities, career and life in general. Basically, they can serve as the catalyst to ensure you keep track of (and even meet) the “right” people in your network and expand your sphere.
However, the curse is that there are over 100 Social Networking sites at the time of this writing – which one do you connect to? Do you connect to all of them, or stick to your guns with only a single choice? Which will offer you the greatest advantages?
There is no real answer – it really does depend on you and what makes you feel comfortable. Personally, I’ve chosen a multi-prong approach.
For my Professional life, I have chosen LinkedIn as my primary networking site.
For my personal life, I have chosen Facebook as my primary networking site.
However, as a self proclaimed networking disciple, I will allow myself to connect to the networks of my contacts through whichever medium they feel most comfortable with … this means that I now have a profile on over half a dozen social networking sites.
This is where a new social networking site has come into it’s own. Ziki is a new social site in it’s own right, but what makes it special is that it allows you to aggregate all your digital presences and content in one place. So not only can you gather all your digital stuff in one place: blog entries, del.ici.ous/digg/stumbler links, Flickr photos, etc. but you can also link to each and every on-line presence point and profile that you have out in the new ether.
The advantage is that you can now choose to have your primary social sites as per your preferences, but you can also (as I have done) choose to allow your contacts to choose their preferred method of connectivity and still keep a single pane of glass view to your world.
Whichever method you decide upon, the real power here is to ensure that you do maintain, cultivate and feed your network – make yourself available to your contacts, and they will make themselves available to you. This is how magic occurs when you need it to.