Monday, 22 November 2010

Strategic Networking Blog - Mission Statement

130 is the average number of friends that users on facebook have, 50% of all 500 million active users log in daily to interact with their friends. They post updates, share links and fotos, comment on just about anything - being social is in.

And looking at how other parts of our life, that have been primarily our own issues before, get rethought and made social, there does not seem to be any way around social in the long run as well. Groupon is leading the social shopping front, and Google has been exploring social search for a while.

Mark Zuckerberg is right saying, that being social and interacting with other people is one of our most important personal needs, especially since human's do not have to worry about survival and safety constantly anymore - food to live from and a lockable door are ubiquitous to most people developed countries.

But with this, there are a few emerging challenges, which have formerly been recognised:
  • We cannot grow our network to an unlimited size. In fact, with about 150 people, we can just remain an overview of a fairly low number of people. Once our list of friends exceeds this number, we have troubles staying in touch with them - or we spend more time on our social life than we should.
  • Where in the old days, we replace about half of our friends every 7 years, because people moved to other places and contact details became outdated (therefore relationships were lost), this is not exactly happening anymore. Profiles on social networks never change - and are even always up to date. Where our best friends might still get replaced by others at times, the total number of people we can stay in touch with (and do every once in a while) is constantly growing. Or do you delete friends on Facebook or LinkedIn regularly?
  • Whenever we decide to do something, we base our decisions on expected returns, but in social life returns are much more complex to measure than for example in purchase decisions. And with the overwhelming number of social interactions, due to a lot of our daily life now involving social web or mobile apps, it is very hard to loose track of what we do and what we get from it.

This blog attempts to explore these challenges, discuss potential solutions and will introduce readers to technology which can simplify their social life - not only for the sole purpose of having a better overview, but being more efficient in making and managing new, useful relationships.

It sees networking as the art of making and managing relationships - and where the interaction part is mostly of operational nature, strategic networking shall be the process of taking a step back, analysing our networking efforts and aligning them towards the bigger picture (e.g. looking at if our efforts are worth the returns and re-aligning our efforts towards our goals), in order to achieve our goals quicker and more efficient - with our network and without cutting down on social life.

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