Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Social networking – a validation of basic principle

Posted in social networking and business by Timothy Platt on October 15, 2009

Yesterday evening I attended a conference on “Fossil Fuels in the Year 2050” with a panel of experts who approach this topic from a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. This is an area that interests and concerns me as how it plays out will affect national and global economies, national and regional security and global environment with all three of these areas of impact and more profoundly affecting everyone’s future. That said, this is not an area in which I would claim any expertise and by any stretch of the imagination. Then this morning I attended a half day conference on cloud computing and its technical and legal issues. This is a lot closer to my areas of expertise and it is one I have been involved in on and off for several years now, at least from the technology side of it. I got into conversations with attendees and presenters at both and walked away with three solid leads for possible work opportunities from one of them. And that is where this gets interesting and is why I am writing about these two events here. I did not get the leads coming out of the more comfort-zone oriented meeting on cloud computing. I got them from my networking with people at the fossil fuels conference.

I keep coming back to a very basic networking principle that this dual experience highlights for me because I keep seeing how valid it is and how often the people who acknowledge it in principle, deny it in practice. Good networking is always a reaching out and beyond your current networking range and in new directions. As I state in my third principle:
• Social networking is not about who you know. It is about who your direct contacts know and who they know, and who they in turn know, in an expanding but reachable circle of potential direct connections.

It is also about reaching out directly and in person to new faces and new possibilities and to taking the risk of meeting and developing relationships with total strangers – three of whom I will be emailing right after finishing this posting to take that next follow-up step in keeping with the three laws of networking cited here in other postings.

The laws and principles for good social networking and business networking that I write about and keep coming back to in these blog postings do work. They seem to work better than any other formulation or approach to networking that I have ever heard of, though I definitely invite others to share alternatives as comments here. This is all about consistently following a strategy and approach and following through on it to achieve solid results. So go to that interesting but unrelated meeting and network and see what happens. Meet interesting people in different fields than yours and see what you can develop with them as new and unexpected opportunity. This really works.

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