Web 2.0 has enabled individuals to leverage social networking skills for numerous reasons whether personal or professional. Given that the experiences of individuals are different as are the objectives I wanted to share my perspective on five points of why I find it useful. These points are based on an analysis of multiple forum posts of “power networkers” and what has made them successful as well as my own personal perspective on the emerging Relationship Economy:
Who you know is what you know. Individuals carry unique experiences and knowledge. When someone shares his or her experiences and knowledge, others learn and grow from those experiences and knowledge. Learning is a process that involves listening and study. Many of us have “heard a lot” from our life experiences, whether personal or professional. There is no better process for learning than hearing others’ experience and particular knowledge on different subject matters.
What you know is who you know. Your experiences and knowledge has placed you in a particular circle of influence. Whether it be in a job where you exercise your knowledge and experience, or in a personal community, i.e. church, neighborhood or personal interest group, people are typically attracted to others who have experiences or knowledge in common. Through sharing of knowledge and experiences, the collective learning increases .
To Learn More increase your network. Different social networks have different demographics. I know from personal and professional experiences that my learning has come from the network of people I know, both on and off-line. The reason I like to increase my own network is because I want to learn more from others.
Market What you know and Who you know. Whether it be online or off, sharing for the purposes of helping others gain is a fulfilling process that pays incredible dividends. In business you gain new prospects and opportunities by networking with others and sharing what you have as potential value for others. When you add value to others, they in turn tell people whom they know what you’ve done for them. It is through this process that your network increases, as does your value.
A Commitment to a Never Ending Journey. As soon as we think we’ve learned it all, our life can become very static. Learning is a journey that involves people connecting and sharing. To get the most out of on line social networking, one has to realize that it is a never ending journey that requires time to learn and time to use it to meet whatever objectives individual is trying to accomplish. Whether it be a business or personal objective, social networking can add significant value to accomplishing any objective.
The exponential curve of learning is significant and only constrained by the market’s adoption. As more “adults” begin to learn and adopt social networking skills, the faster the curve of learning will progress. From a personal perspective, that is one of the reasons I am committed to helping individuals, companies and entire industries learn the power of social networking. I am selfishly motivated to learn.