Social Networks, getting connected, connecting to business associates, finding friends, linking trusted associates, discoving knowledgeable acquaintances. Leveraging my six degrees of separation....Is it all there?
My business-related Social Network expanded this week as I start to play around with Linkedin.
Linked In is a social networking web site; a place to connect to existing, former, and long-lost friends and associates for fun, business opportunities, and/or job/employee searches. You can invite your connections to join Linkedin (it's free for now) and you can search for anyone you might have lost contact with (they have to be a member of Linkedin, and they have to be within 'your network' - more on this in a later post).
Note to self: catalog the "activities/features" at Linkedin (in another post).
This week I signed up, entered a short paragraph about my work history for the last 15 years, and through their system emailed 3 business associates/friends (2 of 3 accepted my invite and joined Linkedin within 24 hours). Also by the next day, a business associate whom I have not spoken to in a couple of years had emailed me...he somehow located me in the entirety of the network. I accepted the "connection."
This was all pretty interesting, so I thought I'd try a new action: I searched for someone I thought would be pretty well 'linked in' - Jack Vinson of Knowledge Jolt. Sure enough, he was. I emailed him (using their email), Jack accepted, and by the end of the second night, my network was growing. 4 - 1st degree connections, 200+ 2nd degree connections, 1000 (or so) 3rd degree.
Exhausted from making all those connections, I waited until the third day and decided I would invite a couple of other business associates to the network. That took all of 5 minutes...so I went to look at Jack's list of connections, and found he knows a few people that I know (I actually knew that, but the fact that they were 'linked in' was interesting). So knowing some of their email addresses, I was able to email them directly to see if they would join my network. Bingo! the network is growing.
I did the same thing with one of my other connections, finding 3 more associates and asking them if we could connect on the 1st level.
My stats at the end of the week 1: I've invited about 20 people to either join LinkedIn or connect with me (they're already members). 10 have accepted (and I have about 15 invitations outstanding), so I have 10 people as 1st degree connections. Through their connections, I am 2 degrees of separation from about 1100 people, and 3 degrees of separation from over 52,000 people.
What good is it?...time will tell.