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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

12/10/2007

Already, always networking

The finishing touches are being put on Framework's new ebook on Caribbean networking and it struck me that a professional is always networking, whether they want to or not. This can easily be seen with what is currently happening on Facebook, which is making the activity of networking in the region much, much easier than it has ever been in the past.

When the topic of Facebook comes up, the reaction is usually one of two: either they talk about how addictive it is, or they talk about how little time they have and how they are too busy to be on Facebook.

The difference is interesting -- because Facebook does make networking easy. In fact, it makes almost ALL aspects of networking easy, effortless and it saves a great deal of time and effort.

It defies explanation to those who don't understand it, but I am coming to realize that those who don't have the time to be on Facebook are probably also the ones who don't have the time to network. In other words, they are willing to leave their networking to chance. They are willing to squeeze the activity in a little here and there.

What they don't know is that they would get a much bigger bang for their buck if they were to use a networking tool like Facebook. It is an extremely high-leverage activity.

Also, it is easy to see that on Facebook, the number of people using the free service is indirectly proportional to age. In other words, younger people have networks in the hundreds, while older people can hardly find ten.

The fact of the matter is that younger people are better networked than older people, and are using tools to give themselves a tremendous advantage over their older peers. They understand that they are always networking, whether they are thinking about it or not.

Their profile in Facebook is doing the work for them, and their presence in their friends' networks speaks for who they are in an efficient and time-effective way.

Those that "don't have time" to network are stuck with the old practices -- attending functions, giving out business cards, etc. -- that all take time, money and paper and they just have no idea what they are missing.

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