November 18, 2010

Are You Done Building your Social Network?

"building social networks"If you were on Linkedin back in the good ol’ days of maybe 2004 and 2005, it felt like a bulletin board back in 1992 – only the not cool kids were there. It was more like a club than a web forum. Facebook grew to power during the same time, but for me it was all about Linkedin. The gates of the professional world were thrown open; communication, it seemed would never be the same. Trumpets around the world sounded and doves burst from the clouds. I was hooked. I got out my hammer and started to build my social network.

I like millions of others trudged along the next years, building and building. And building. Looking back on it now, those years leading to 2010 might be considered somewhat important – the blossoming of the information age and the beginnings of a practical global communication structure. If you spent a lot of time building your social network, from a macro standpoint, you helped wrap the strings of the global cat’s cradle game. We were all the old time operators, connecting one wire to another and listening when the conversation got interesting.

But where are we now? Have you spent most of your time building a network and understanding the new communication vehicles or actually using them – meaning developing your core business, making real-life connections and partnerships? I realize only now that I’ve mostly built and never used the network that I now have. It’s like I’ve been drawing up plans for a date with a girl that I haven’t met yet. If this sounds like you, let’s take 2011 as the year to actually use our networks – put down the hammer and stop building. Start using and connecting. The next wave of communication (whatever that is) will most likely antiquate our existing social networks – if we keep building to the sky without purpose, we will most certainly fall.

Picture of strange hammer wielding Ostriches by

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Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.