Recently I've determined that the power of networks would be a useful resource in advancing some personal goals. I've requested that a few contacts join my network, and even requested a referral from some close colleagues and clients. I like the results. I'm confident showing people my LinkedIn profile as an alternative to a bio of any kind. It doesn't only speak to work history or interests, it speaks to an individual's living network.
Scott Allen wrote that "LinkedIn was designed to be more of an extended Rolodex than a virtual cocktail party. LinkedIn's core value proposition enables significant improvements in efficiency for search/discovery within your extended network". I've done the cocktail party thing with facebook and others. Used for its purpose - which I now have a need for - LinkedIn is a good tool. Some other business networking applications it's being used for:
- Prospecting/researching possible customers
- Prospecting/researching key people in organizations (often potential customer's organizations)
- Keeping information accurate, almost like a customer managed CRM
- Softening territory to do cold calls. I.e. "you know _________ from my network, we should chat"
With the endless professional and personal networks out there, how can one manage their contacts? I've recently been exposed to, but never used: WeMeUs. It's another thing to have to log in to, but it might help in centralizing what you or I are using now.