My notes from Scott Klososky’s speech at a conference I attended in Chicago (www.technologystory.com) are as follows: “A study shows that our tendency to believe commercials remain at 13% whereas our tendency to believe our friends is around 80%. Technology strips publishers, editors and the media elite of their power. It is now individuals who are in charge. It is now time to replace ‘word of mouth’ with ‘e-word of mouth.”
For how long will we continue to print newspapers and magazines on paper when, in 10 years, the number of people who read these online will increase significantly? Or when will we see televisions be replaced with the internet? Is it possible for a non-online advertisement’s impact, coverage or speed to reach the level of impact or coverage of a successful viral ad? How well-prepared are establishments to face questions like these? How aware are we of this huge change as individuals? If the answer is “very” then how can we benefit from such a huge change?
To be or not to be a “Networker” !!!
I have read an interesting article in the January 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review about networking (Herminia Ibarra & Mark Hunter – How Leaders Create & Use Networks). The article suggests that there are three forms of networking. The first form is operational networking and it refers to a network formed to get work done efficiently generally for a group within an establishment. Such operational networks include not only direct reports and superiors but also peers within an operational unit, other internal players with the power to complete an operational task, and key outsiders such as suppliers, distributors, and customers. Our contacts intend to meet everyday operational demands and choice of contacts is not arbitrary as these contacts are individuals who currently exist within the organization of our workplace without us choosing them to be there.
The second form of networking is personal networking. This aims to form a network for potential development in consideration of both today and the future. Connections made through professional organizations, associations and hobby and interest groups are parts of personal networking. Such relations may result in important referrals or development-oriented support. Key contacts are mostly discretionary and in the beginning it is not always clear who is relevant.
The third form of networking is strategic networking. It may be described as lateral and vertical relationships one form with people outside one’s immediate control. The purpose is to form future-oriented relations. Such relations may act as a huge leverage when the time comes. The necessity to identify future priorities and challenges and to receive stakeholder support for them may cause such networking to require more investment compared to the other two forms of networking.
“Google It” has the priority now!!!
This is a perhaps a new tradition with five or six years of history… Business or personal life… Let us assume that you will be meeting someone. The first thing you do is to “google” that person. What is worse than not being able to find anything about somebody is being able to find unpleasant information about them. If search results contain undesired information all one can do is to try to get as many pleasant information written as possible to move unwanted information to the end of the result lists of search engines. The sad news is that it will not be possible to remove unwanted online information if it continues to be clicked on… The e-spreading speed and accessibility of online information is exceeds those of any other channel today.
Another example… Let us assume that you will be meeting someone for business purposes. Good! You found that person on LinkedIn. Loads of information… But no photos… Shy, timid, mysterious, someone special… There is no way you can know if you know that person before you meet them… A sheer disappointment!!!
I would like to briefly mention a recent interview technique at this point. Traditional resumes are now being put on the back burner. Nowadays interviewees are giving their blog addresses. Please feel free to have a look at my blog it you want to know me better. It is all there- much more detailed then what is written in my resume…
It is possible to give more examples… On the other hand, the internet is an unbelievably fast and cost-saving networking tool when it is used correctly… But what will we do to use this tool correctly? Thanks to the internet, it is now much easier to reach platforms that were extremely hard to reach a decade ago. So, all we have to do is to send reckless e-mails to our target, is this correct?
Definitely NOT. One of the ways to success in business life is being able to manage the three above-mentioned networks in an efficient manner. And we need three steps to do that. Let us go over these steps using some websites.
www.addictomatic.com . This website is a multiple search site that searches latest news, blogs, videos and images. The website is very useful for “listening to what is happening”, the first step to networking. www.wired.com is another website which is especially good for following advance technology related news… www.siia.net will update you on all kinds of advancements in software and information technologies. www.ted.com contains unbelievably good speeches on a wide range of subjects made by unbelievable people.
Another website is www.namechk.com . This website checks the availability of your desired name (company name or personal) at multiple social networking sites and enables you to register your name if available. It is essential for the “active involvement” step which is the second step of networking. I would like to assume that you are already listed in LinkedIn and Facebook and that you have a website or a blog. Have you ever tried www.twitter.com? This website enables you to keep in touch with your social circle through mobile phone texts and internet messages. I strongly recommend that you register your company on www.fastcompany.com . www.yammer.com is a website that allows you to make use of your professional experience; ask questions and get answers. It is very useful for forming and expanding an operational network.
The third step is measurement. After the “listening” and “active involvement” stages, you must “measure” the results you get. Use www.alexa.com, www.socialmention.com and www.socialrelevancy.com to access lists and results that contain you or your company. You must increase the number of your followers to form a strategic network.
www.tweetdeck.com will be there to help you is you are having problems controlling multiple websites. This website is an iphone compatible site which brings together multiple website uses. You may also use the yellow pages of Twitter www.twellow.com to use your wide-coverage Twitter network efficiently.
A final word- I recommend you to limit your online network development efforts to a specific period of time. Otherwise do not be surprised to see that they have taken hold of your whole life.