Robert Godden’s musings and rants

I muse. I rant. This is my outlet!

Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking

Don’t Stop Me Now

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I’ve never been busier in real life.

I’ve often been more of a behind-the-scenes worker. Whilst I have never had a problem with making a sales call or undertaking  business development tasks – and I am reasonably equipped to be successful at this, and enjoy it – I’ve not been in sales full time since 1993.

As a researcher you tend to hide behind a PC or other info sources, but lately, I’ve been out and about with alarming frequency.

The difference is, I am now catching up with people whom I either met on-line, or who are connected with me on-line.

When we go on line, even with the limitations of social networking tools like LinkedIn or Facebook, we still put more of ourselves in the public domain than ever before. When I catch up with a supplier for a chat about business, I now might know where they grew up or went to school. Or what their previous role was. Or the fact that they were photographed in fishnet stockings at a Rocky Horror-themed party last Saturday.

It adds a whole new dimension to the conversation. You could meet the same person once a week for a year and not know much about the person behind the corporate face, but if they’ve got 714 pictures of themselves in various states of inebriation over the last year, you start to get a bit of a picture.

A real issue is that spammy stuff that turns up on Facebook – you know, when your mini-feed says you did something you didn’t do.

I’ve apparently just joined something called “Be a Billionaire”. Except that I haven’t. I hadn’t even been on Facebook for a month or so before I logged on last night to see some photos my son pasted. And there it was.

A few months ago, a good friend of mine was talking about me to her other half, and bought up my Facebook profile. The mini-feed suggested I’d joined some sort of “photos of swingers” application. And we’re not talking about people swinging on a tyre on a rope here. (Well, some of them might have been!).

So, my point here is that I use on-line networking as a research tool before I meet people – suppliers, clients, candidates, anyone. Have done so for some time. It also helps to track down a photo of someone you’ve never met before; though the person photographed on Facebook wearing a fairy costume may not look the same in a Hugo Boss suit. But never assume everything you see is real.

Even confusion between two people of the same name can have hilarious results. So it always pays to check. Particularly if you are say, a professional hit-man or a recruitment consultant. You want to get the right guy!

Anyway, my original point is that, confirmed geek that I am, I’m now finding my business network is getting stronger, and more personal.

Around the time I was born, hippies were sitting about discussing ‘the interconnectedness of us all, man’. Now, 43 years later, the boat the hippies were looking for has sailed into the harbour.

We are all interconnected. Perhaps not as connected with a sparrow, a blade of grass, Mt Everest or our inner purple love-child as the hippies would have liked, but nevertheless, we’re heading there fast.

Love, Peace and LinkedIn, Man.

Written by robertgodden

July 7, 2008 at 7:22 am

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.

Written by robertgodden

May 19, 2008 at 6:52 am

Posted in Business, Family, Musings

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