Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Networking concepts applied to Online Social Networks

Online Social Networks are the consequence of Web2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies in action, so traditional networking concepts apply to build successful 2.o initiatives. To extract the most of social networks technology let´s look at this article about networking, extracted from a post at IE Student Office:

As an experienced MBA from Standford University, Sonia Fernandez explained the importance of “connectivity” and “social capital,” two basic terms coined when talking about networking. She also explained the well-known concept “Six degrees of separation.” She decided to call her book “Two Degrees” or “Dos Grados”, revealing the further revolution that the internet has brought to personal and professional relationships. We are even more closely connected than ever before.

Based on Sonia’s opinion, it is difficult to keep more than 250 contacts or people who would return your phone call if you left them a message. It does not have to be so difficult to:

1. Manage to have a lunch from time to time with someone that can be the touchstone of your strategic network.

2. Try to put people in touch who you know would benefit from knowing each other.

3. Keep an agenda!

4. Attend conferences and other activities.

5. Do not use the network only when you need it.

Therefore, suggestions are to:

1. Build up your networking diagram: Build a list of the contacts with name and surname who would return your phone calls.

2. Make networking a part of your daily routine and work in advance: Keep your CV in shape. If you are an entrepreneur, do not wait to polish your business plan the night before your unexpected appointment with your angel investor.

3. Do not look for excuses: “I am shy”: Everybody is shy! “I do not have time”: Make time!

4. Do not put anybody in uncomfortable situations: “You told me you would introduce me to…”

5. Do not get anxious: Professional life is a cycle. Sonia explained to us that in the late nineties, during the dotcom crash, many people became unemployed, and those who got a job first were probably those who managed to keep calm. Do not worry that your friends get a job before you. It is irrelevant!

6. Do not forget the person who helped you: even though you most likely did not get the job through him or her.

7. Do not promise what you cannot do.

8. Do not make someone feel unimportant.

9. Take a risk! Meet new people. In some cultures people usually ask, “Who is going? Nobody I know? Then I do not want to go…” NO!! It is better if you do not know anybody, you will meet new people. Besides, many people are there in the same situation; they do not know anybody either.

10. Develop your hobbies and join associations related to your interests: If none exist, create them!

11. Be a host!: Be a connector and share different networks.

12. Request advice from people you admire.

13. Give first, you will receive later.