Monday, July 8, 2013

An Invisible Network

The other day while talking to a friend we both realized we have a huge contact network if we include all of the social and professional sites that we are active on. And then we casually starting checking if we had a common contact on the professional site. What we discovered was something that is pretty obvious with many of us. For a major percentage of the people we accepted in our network, we didn't even realize they are in our contact. Obvious? Yes. Usual? Yes!. Beneficial? Not from a networking point of view!

Many of my friends accept requests from only those people that they know either personally or professionally or both. And then there are a few I know, who accept all; irrespective of whether they are known to them or not. "What's the harm in having people in your network that you don't know ?". Considering that I work in a social media domain, the question usually pops up; often. While there would be different perspective you could answer the question from; I will take it from the networking perspective.

Having people in your network just for the sake of increasing the count or circle numbers doesn't make sense if you aren't aware you have them. So for instance, you may have a contact who belong to certain industry/domain; say HR; but it's useless if you don't know about him/her especially when you may want to gather some information on that particular industry/domain. The purpose of having a virtual network gets defeated. Laying down in deep the actual benefits that the networking sites were created for. So having people in your network that you do not know, is not bad; not realizing the power of your network is! 

If you don't know about your network, it's difficult to put a price tag on it ;), not that I am asking you do ;). Jokes apart, the worth is not in increasing the numbers in your contact/address books, it rather sits in how you connect! Don't let part of your network be "invisible". You will be surprised how informative and knowledgeable your network could be. Paying a little more attention from the start always helps! 

Are you one of those who carry with them an "invisible network"? Get started to know them, its just a virtual barrier that needs to be crossed!

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