I read stories like this one on social networking and have to ask… can the average person (who isn’t a master networker already) generate sales leads or a new job from a social networking tool?
Not really. It takes just as much effort to use online networking tools as it does just to nurture relationships off line. By going online we miss a chance to connect as people and build relationships. I have around 100 people in my social network (via LinkedIn) but still I prefer to connect with my network offline.
Like traditional networks, online social networks must be built on trust and value to be effective. In either case, you can’t replace credibility lost, if you fail to use them correctly. Social networks seem at best Rolodex replacements and at worst – time wasters.
Business networking is flourishing online