Robert Godden’s musings and rants

I muse. I rant. This is my outlet!

Friends will be Friends

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With a LinkedIn network that has grown over 1000% in about a month, it was time to test out these new-found friends. Are they the sort of friends who will willingly spend upward of a minute and a half helping me?  To paraphrase Roger Waters, I decided to “test the water of their friendship with my toe”, Besides, I really needed some help.

The last post to this blog “We Apologise for this Break in Transmission” outlines a request for help and it was sent to 200 LinkedIn contacts that I selected on the basis of likely expertise.

Even though I sent it Sunday morning and write this on a Monday morning, replies have come pouring in. My favourite so far – sent just a few minutes after I sent the question:

Robert, I don’t think you’re there yet.  1) spell check!   2) clearly show the value that you’re offering (letter sounds like just a sales pitch for the book) 3) proof read this!  4) from what perspective are you coming from?  sounds a bit too familiar in tone to be promoting professionalism.  5) hang in there.

I love this reply because, though succinct, it shows that some guy somewhere took the time to read my email, read the blog and then reply. In particular, I was heartened by item 5. What a nice touch. I’ll try to make my answers more encouraging from now on.

Because I believe that you have to give as well as receive, for every answer I receive, I’ll go to LinkedIn answers and find a question to answer – that’s being the Person 2.0 I wish to be.

So, thinking about the whole concept of networks and on-line friends, I can’t help but think back about three years, when my then 16-year-old was always talking on-line to people he had never met in person.

He was of the opinion that because they had all been introduced by mutual friends, and that had likewise happened before;  somewhere in the chain was someone he knew in the real world, and therefore this was OK. As his parents, we where very concerned about the fact that every Goth, Emo or vampire (not as many, but enough) in Adelaide was talking to our son about God knows what. He was even starting to listen to my CD’s by The Cure and Pink Floyd for God sake; a sure sign of a descent into madness.

I’ve actually met a bunch of these people since, and though terribly earnest, philosophical and in some cases not terribly in tune with personal hygiene; they an alright bunch of kids. They’re not exactly rabble-raisers – they’re more likely to spend Friday evening arguing philosophy over cigars and scotch (you can thank Boston Legal for that).

For me the point is that you can sharpen an on-line instinct like you can in the flesh. You won’t pick every bad apple; but you’ll have a reasonable handle on those who aren’t rowing in the same direction as you.

I’ve recently become enchanted with Twitter; and some of my on-line contacts such as TalentSynch and InfoSourcer are proving to be incredibly generous with their pearls of 140-character wisdom.

It’s now the age where the “loner” tag can be thrown off. Those of us a little different who don’t make friends easily in social scenes can add a whole new dimension to our lives in the glow of the LCD screen.

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Written by robertgodden

May 19, 2008 at 6:52 am

Posted in Business, Family, Musings

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