Here's a great pictorial definition of Social Networking, I post this because in it's simplest form and this scenario works when everyone is somehow connected to someone.
For example, a decision maker from a company called me asking that I present to 800 people. After some discussion, the two of us found that we had a connection to each other. The speaker who she hired last year is someone that I was working on a book with. What a coincidence.
On the flip side I have a problem with some of these social networking sites. They require work. I remember, not too long ago when I just had to keep track of my Facebook site. Now I have linkedin, ecademy, and more….it tires me to even write them all.
Each networking site offers the next best way to do business. Each one tries to make me open up my database to show connectivity. I have over 11,000 names in the database, and I bet, just like you, I don't want to intrude on my friends and colleagues.
Besides, how many social networking sites are worth their time. Facebook connects me with a specific group of people and some social sites I've developed, such as a ning site for my NYU students (200+ members at this point).
Given that social networking is only a few years old, what will happen when we've accepted to be a part of twenty such networks? How can one manage all this and a have a life, too?
I personally believe that the entire model must change and will change for two reasons. One, there's going to be an overkill point where too many social networks end up diluting the effectiveness of the entire group to a point where the time is not worth the effort.
Second, people will start to be resentful of the endless solicitations: asking for input, to purchase services, to be connected. (I've not been able to turn off my FastPitchNetworking.com solicitations even though I don't want to remove my name from the site….eventually I may have to.)
In the end, I like social networking in that the process links like-minded people with like-minded people. If you like doing needlepoint with one hand tied behind your back and only on Thursdays, great. There are others like you.
Just remember, there's only so much, in today's technology, where being social is digital. Don't forget to unplug and socialize with your friends down the street in person. Or, hop on a plane to visit one of your friends. Social networking is just a part of the "social" side that humans need.The Strategic Alchemist™ , David Goldsmith is President and co-founder of MetaMatrix Consulting Group LLC. Over the past 24 years David has founded or co-founded nine businesses ranging from distribution to manufacturing to advertising.In 1999, David sold his 14-year-old Syracuse, NY based Image Promoters, Inc. which he co-founded in 1986 to Proforma Associates, a 400-location franchise. He has been a consultant to various industries including telemarketing, high tech, logistics, retailing, hospitality, tourism, and manufacturing. Working with business owners, and corporate and mid-level management, David rapidly creates strategies that win in the marketplace.