Astute Planning, Flawless Execution,
Delighted Customers

Issue #121

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Score Conference

Please join Customer Centricity's President Craig Bailey at the 6th Annual SCORE Conference, taking place May 13-15, 2008, at the World Trade Center in Boston. Early bird registration with discounted pricing is available through February 29. To learn more and register online, visit the SCORE website. Craig will be moderating sessions taking place on May 15, including the much anticipated panel discussion entitled Driving Operational Change to Get the Most Out of Customer Feedback.

Online Networking Phenomenon + Survey

By Craig Bailey

Unless you live in a cave (offering no internet access), you have likely received emails inviting you to join one or more of the many online networking tools. I'd suggest that there is significant value in leveraging online networking tools including:

  • Reconnecting with people you've lost track of
  • Job seekers researching target companies
  • Business development/sales people seeking opportunities to partner or promote their goods and services
  • Hiring managers and recruiters promoting a job opening to their network
  • Identifying people you know who may provide a reference on other people or companies
  • Posing a question to an online community
  • Etc.

You'll note that I'm sticking with "business" reasons for using online networking tools. I'll leave the category of social networking (including match-making, etc.) to someone savvy in that space.

The purpose of this article is two-fold:

  1. I've received invitations from people using "at least" 8 of the various online networking tools, and I've been hesitant to accept the invitations (unless they come from Linkedin) because I'm trying to decide which tool will survive any shake-out that will occur. And, because time is so precious, I want to leverage only that tool that provides the most value (to me). As such, one purpose of this article is to serve as my attempt at setting expectations for those of you who have invited me to join you "online" and I haven't responded. Those of you who know me are aware that I'm extremely responsive to email, except for this "online networking phenomena" sans Linkedin.
  2. I'm hoping that readers of this article will respond with their thoughts on tools that they use and find effective (or not). And, we'll commit to publishing a summary of feedback received in a future article.

To set the record straight, I'm not (at this point) suggesting that Linkedin is the best tool. It just happens to be the first one I began using and the one I've invested my time in to build-out my network. And, I have found it pretty effective for my needs. In addition to Linkedin, I have received invites from people (some of whom are ALSO using Linkedin) using the following tools: Facebook, Konnects, Notchup, Pagii, Plaxo, Ryze and Tagged. I'm sure I've forgotten others** that I've received invitations from. The various tools offer a wide range of features and cater to different demographics, perhaps making it difficult to settle on a single standard.

To help us all sort through the various tools that are available for online networking, I'd like to ask those of you who do online networking to participate in a 3 minute survey about the tool(s) you use. Feel free to forward this newsletter or the survey link to others who might have valuable input. As an added incentive, we will be offering a 1GB memory stick to 10 people (chosen at random) who respond by February 20.

Again, I commit to follow-up in a future article with a summary of the feedback received which I hope will help us all clarify which tool or (hopefully not multiple) tools make most sense for the purpose we intend.

In summary, I believe that online networking tools "can be" an extremely effective tool for business and social purposes. In the area of business I'd suggest that it is crucial for your ongoing career development and for anyone involved in Sales or Business Development it is as important a tool to help you "meet your numbers" as is the phone or email. However, for me at least, investing time within multiple online communities is not a good use of time.

** Another popular networking tool is MySpace. You'll note that I didn't include MySpace in the list of tools I've received an invite from because I'm sure that our kids have taken a vow that they shall not invite adults for fear that we will monitor their sites. A quick note on that…if your children use the internet, they likely have online presences in one or more of the online networking tools. I'd suggest that you might want to consider checking out their sites.

Take Online Networking Survey




+ Score Conference

+ Online Networking Phenomenon + Survey

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