Categorized | Career, Relationships

What Method Do You Use for Networking?

I mentioned in a previous post that networking is something I need to get better at. Why? A good network can get you better jobs, a better chance of admission into graduate school, sporting event tickets, and more. Wait… sporting event tickets? Yup! I have gotten quite a few tickets to sports games by networking with divisions in my company that I normally wouldn’t deal with. When an event comes around and they have a few extra tickets who do they call? Me, of course! The friendly and intelligent guy from the operations/supply chain side of the business.  Ok, enough patting myself on the back. Networking does have its benefits.

I would even venture to say that every blogger will agree that networking is a great way to add value to YOU. And using a word like every is very dangerous. Most people, at one point in their life, will need a good network to fall back on; it helps people bounce back from a bad moment in their life. About.com goes over a bunch of the benefits of networking and they pretty much go over what I said in greater detail.

However, I want to examine the point at which it seems networking actually approaches negative returns and decreases the value added. I was browsing my Linkedin and noticed one of my friends had 488 professional contacts. A few of my friends even had over 500! It got me to thinking…

Origins in Myspace

I remember when I first started hearing about MySpace profile sales. People would get a MySpace profile, build up their “friend” networks by sending random friend requests to everyone and their mother, and then sell the accounts on eBay. I think in the begining the accounts were fetching almost $10-20 per 1,000 friends. And even more if the person had been signed up on MySpace for a longer period of time. This doesn’t seem like a lot but I guess people were treating friending as an entrepreneurial endeavor and selling accounts with 50,000 friends. $10-20 per 1k…. well that is a good chunk of change (ahem, $500-1,000) for this virtual network, eh?

The demand has since dropped off and you can get 8,000 friends for $30, a measly $3.75 per 1,000 friends! This same profile at one time could have pulled between $80 and $160!

Saying that makes me scoff. You can buy 8,000 friends for $30? It is things like this that really irritate me about this new generation of technology. Why do we create such stupidity with dashes of amazing creativity? It makes it impossible to scrap the whole thing because we do not want to lose the amazing concept of social networking.

Le sigh.

Facebook

Now, I have not really heard as much about Facebook accounts being sold for loot based on their sheer amount of friends. I am sure it has happened, but it doesn’t seem to be on as large of a scale. But, instead, EVERYONE now accumulates friends like it’s going out of style.

“Nice shoes dude, got a Facebook?”
“O man that is so funny… we have the same blue BIC pen, got a Facebook?”
“Oh, you like to drink beer on the weekends? Got a Facebook?”

Is the point of Facebook to build a personal/social network? Or is it to accumulate names of people whom we have met? It seems to be the latter.

At a time when Facebook is being used to deny people jobs, what is the value added in friend-ing random people you will never speak to again once they have finished funneling the beer with you?

Quote from link:

Careerbuilder recently surveyed hiring managers and found that of those admit to screening job candidates using Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites, 34 percent admit to dismissing a candidate from consideration because of what they found on the social networking sites.

AGAIN… people are being denied jobs based on social networking sites.

Obviously the point is not that everyone should get rid of their Facebook. But… please realize that we live in a glass society. Examine your privacy settings. Be more exclusive with your friend requests. Make sure anything that is visible to the public is in good taste (would you hire the guy doing a keg stand in a leprechaun outfit to handle clients worth millions in revenue?).

Linkedin

And back to the original point. As people “graduate” from Facebook to Linkedin, it seems they are bringing some of the same practices with them. I have started seeing main profile images of people in suits at bars with beers in hand and girls on shoulder. Is that the image you want to display to a potential future employer or client? Obviously these future employers are not naive. They know you drink. And they know you like girls. But it all has to do with how you are choosing to present yourselves to them… in a less than professional manner.

On top of that, doo you think being 23 with a network of 500+ people screams: “I am so professional that everyone wants to be in my network to open up doors” or “This isn’t really as much of a professional network as it is a people I have met in my travels” depository.

Think about it. This is a professional network, treat it like one.

Internet Networking

What’s Your Take?

Cheers! Let me know what you think about these new age networking sites and the effect they have on youngsters in the workplace! Or even what effect they have on the workplace as a whole, young or old.

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MLR is passionate about saving for his future while maintaining a high quality of life. He currently resides in a great town, has a wonderful girlfriend, adopted the cutest puppy ever, and works for a Fortune 500 company.


has written 204 posts on MyLifeROI.com.


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. J. Money Says:

    Yup, I’m all about social networking to the max. LinkedIn for professional stuff, and myspace/facebook/twitter for blogging and just plain’ ol “fun” networking. A lot of people hate some of this stuff, but I feel like if you can master it for what you’re going for, then it really comes in handy.

    For example Twitter. Sure people say they don’t care what you’re eating or doing at that very moment, but if this were the case all around no one would be following each other all over the place ;) And even if you don’t care, you can still market your own blog and/or friends and/or ideas that you are finding helpful on there. So it’s really a win-win all around if you’re willing to put in the time and learn how to use it effectively.

    —–
    ps: You sure do know your your taxes! haha….half of what you and the other person is saying on my blog was lost from the beginning ;)

    [Reply]

  2. MyLifeROI Says:

    @ J. Money –

    To the MAX! Haha… I imagined you on Linkedin drinking a red bull slamming it against your forehead when you found a job posting you were interested in.

    And yeah, I agree… there are aspects that you can find outright silly but you can still utilize the other features.

    Andddd thanks :) I know a decent amount about my taxes. If you ever are interested in something in particular I can throw a few sources your way that might be of interest!

    Thanks for stopping by.

    MLR

    [Reply]

  3. Brett Hummel Says:

    I think we are going to see an increased trend towards niche social networking sites for personal use with sites like Facebook and Linkedin being used mainly to connect business contacts and acquaintances. The niche sites will connect users with like interests and will provide more privacy because it will be difficult for employers to find every niche site that a recruit belongs to.

    I also think that we should begin a discussion about protecting the content on social networking sites. Just like we protect our mail and telephone conversations these new applications provide many of the same benefits and are not protected. As a result, privacy protections must be put in place whereby employers can not discriminate within reason against you because of pictures from your college days, or any other content that might seep out that while embarrassing has no affect on your ability to do a job or task.

    [Reply]

  4. MyLifeROI Says:

    @Brett –

    Interesting thought. When you envision this trend do you see social networking sites popping up for large scale interests (all sports) or for smaller scale interests (one sport… field hockey, for example)?

    However, I don’t know about it being more difficult to find with a search engine like Google. It just means employers have to sift through more results.

    As far as protecting the content, I feel as if most of the sites do offer privacy protections. Most people don’t seem to use them, however. Using your email and phone comparison, I would relate peoples use of networking sites to having a phone conversation with someone in a crowded mall on a speakerphone… do you expect privacy? I don’t in that situation. However, if people enacted the privacy controls it would relate to a person having a phone call in their own home. THEN you expect privacy.

    If given a choice, with two equal candidates, would you hire the one who you can not find on a social networking site or the one with a picture of himself downing a beer while dressed in a tinfoil outfit? I can’t say I blame the employers…!

    Thanks for stopping by Brett and look forward to your response!

    MLR

    [Reply]

  5. Eddie Garrison Says:

    Can you provide me with some more information on this? Thanks – Chuck

    [Reply]

  6. dave Says:

    nice articles and well put together website,i will be back!

    [Reply]

  7. Whitney Segura Says:

    Great tutorial, I really like to use Xing, Crunch Base, Linked In, Facebook, and a few other platforms, I really do not like the interface of MySpace, it’s really just not aimed at professionalism as much as I would like it to have.
    Whitney Segura´s last [type] ..Network Marketing Your Way to the Top

    [Reply]

  8. Steve Says:

    Wow! This is some great information. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    [Reply]

  9. baton rouge virtual office Says:

    Hi there, I read your blog like every week. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!
    baton rouge virtual office´s last [type] ..baton rouge virtual office

    [Reply]

2 Trackbacks For This Post

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    [...] and professional boundaries. Most younger people are fine treating their workplace as part of their social network. Co-workers will all go out to happy hour and then continue drinking at their favorite bars long [...]

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    [...] you about both the company and the industry, give you advice about job functions, and help you network with important people. All of these benefits go towards furthering your development and advancing your [...]

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