A discussion about the possibilities and practices of networking. Join in before, during or after the live meeting in London on 8 July.

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Thank you for setting this up, Paul. I'm keen to know what colleagues think might be sigbnificant diffeences - if any - between th essential processes of networking f2f and networking using 'new techonologies'. Best wishes. Bob
On another social-network (ecademy), in response to the founder's blog on 'future proofing' through social networking - I asked:
"I know that when first using video-conferencing (many years ago now) I was more comfortable talking with people who I had physically met previously. Now that we have social networking it is possible to 'meet' complete strangers, to engage in conversations which may lead to business opportunities. What are your thoughts about the challenge of building the trust that this needs, without actually meeting first?"

The response suggested a three phase process called - Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me. Building a Know Me world through Social Media, then creating friendships when you like one another inside Social Networks and ultimately creating trust when those you know and like can become stronger and start to advocate and collaborate on business ideas and thoughts, this is when you have real followers.
Trust takes time, and it takes friendship, nothing can be done to cut corners on that one, however, this new world opens up the opportunity to meet many more people and in doing this find more people to trust long term.


The answer suggests to me that f2f and social networking need each other!
Hi, Ned

I like your trinities. Sometimes, simple outline structures help us to find our way therough complexities.

Should we be thinking of 'blended networking' in a similar way to how some people speak of 'blended learning' - mixing f2f and virtual connections?

BW. Bob
My two reservations about our new online networking opportunity:
1. I can sometimes resent the amount of time I already spend in the company of computers.
2. Many people seem hesitant to join in - only 5 in the Sustainable Development Group? Only 3 in NE SDcotland Group. Perhaps they feel like me in 1 above.
David raises a key question about reluctance to join, perhaps linked to current levels of computer use.

I recognise that I have been slow to really adopt this networking technology. Yes I 'joined' in early, but have only recently begun to make it work for me. It has taken me a while to get to grips with what it is about. So there is something of a 'learning the technology' barrier, plus the old question 'WIIFM?'.
Perhaps we need to help colleagues grasp that this is as much a meeting / discussion etc as any face to face event - more so because we each have time to review and reflect on what has been said and to take our own time about how we respond to it.

As for spending too much time at the computer... this network saves me the time spent travelling to meeting venues, I can fit it to MY schedule, I can come back to it whenever I want, I can leave it whenever I want. So are we talking about how each of us manage our own time on a PC (or MAC)?

David McAra said:
My two reservations about our new online networking opportunity:
1. I can sometimes resent the amount of time I already spend in the company of computers.
2. Many people seem hesitant to join in - only 5 in the Sustainable Development Group? Only 3 in NE SDcotland Group. Perhaps they feel like me in 1 above.
Maybe there is a match between preferences and personality. For example, an extrovert (who develops ideas through speech) might thrive on f2f networking and go slowly insane in the company of a computer. On the other hand, an introvert who finds social interaction emotionally draining might use the new computerised tools to open doors that have previously been closed.

Incidentally, I hate binary categorisations like this - the reality is no doubt a spectrum, but I used two stark extremes to illustrate the point.

Bob MacKenzie said:
Thank you for setting this up, Paul. I'm keen to know what colleagues think might be sigbnificant diffeences - if any - between th essential processes of networking f2f and networking using 'new techonologies'. Best wishes. Bob

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