Monday, June 13, 2005

More on Networking

I think I might now (after a scant 24 hours) be addicted to LinkedIn. I keep checking now to see who has accepted invitations to be connected and what old friends I'm now able to find using the connections I've already made. It's fun to watch the network grow. Too fun, actually, hence the concern over the addiction.

As I've mentioned before, I don't do groups well. I do, however, tend to make rather close relationships when I do interact with people on some kind of regular basis. It's how I'm wired, I guess. And, for whatever reason, I like electronic communication. Plus I'm a bit of a packrat... so all this together means that I have collected a rather sizeable Contacts file in Outlook & it's all people I basically like, or they wouldn't be there.

In the early stages of the Sproqit technology, this did cause some issues ("You have how many entries?!") - the engineers apparently didn't have that many, I guess, so they hadn't thought to plan for folders that size. We got it worked out though and I haven't had any trouble with the size of my Contacts folder since then even though it continues to grow. It seems very stable now, thank you very much.

Although social networking isn't the only way to do business, get a job, find a mate, meet new people with whom you might share interests, and so forth, it certainly seems to be a very effective method. In fact, social networking was one of the primary findings leading to the popular book, How to Be a Star at Work - findings based on what appear to have been rather decent research. Not only that, but it really bore out what I've seen myself over the years. It's still one of my favorites.

If I've learned one thing recently about social networking, it's to not underestimate the power of chance meetings too. About a month ago, I discovered that a person with whom I'm doing some volunteer work is very good friends with a good friend of mine. I find this interesting and also recognize that this is the stuff of which social networks are made.

Then, last Friday, I happened to meet on the bus an exceptionally lovely young woman from Nepal who is studying here in the States. Since she's been blind a long time, perhaps since birth, she may not realize how beautiful she is and yet that is most certainly not the most amazing thing about her. She is so intelligent and so articulate and has such great passion that I am quite certain she will do great things. Who knows if this meeting will ever mean anything to me... and yet, who's to say that it might not?

Such randomness also led me to discover the blog. It was a curious find resulting from a typo on my part. Too bad it seems to have ended as quickly as it started. It might have been fun to read.

My brain doing the odd connection thing that it does, immediately leaped from this to the news that we've apparently discovered an earthlike planet just 15 lightyears away and came up with the odd thought that our social networks could get really big if going off-planet were a possibility. I suppose that's a while out though...

In the meantime, if you've observed anything interesting about social networking, LinkedIn aliens or random encounters, send your thoughts to me at and perhaps we'll find a connection!

What difference would it make to you if you were to find the events in our lives are not random?