Networking overkill?


I got a question from a colleague the other day about how to best use LinkedIn because he hasn’t had the time to sit down and figure that out yet.

My reply was that I haven’t figured out why LinkedIn matters yet either. I know I’ve been contacted by a lot of people who want me to join their network but I haven’t necessarily gotten anything out of that.

It seems we’ve all decided we need to be on LinkedIn but we don’t yet know why.

Facebook is changing from a MySpace competitor to an all-around networking site for friends, family, colleagues, politicians, etc. I’m not saying that’s bad, it’s just quite a dramatic shift. If LinkedIn doesn’t come up with some way to prove itself soon, it could start to falter, at least for me and a few colleagues.

Eventually, people will be tired of keeping too many profiles updated and start to stick to the ones that give them the best all-around connections. At this point in my life, my two best networking tools are Facebook and Twitter. (Well, then there’s the event networking, where you get to actually meet people — like Sparty!)

We all have networks we want to maintain, but at what point is it networking overkill? How many different sites do we need to belong to, receive updates from, maintain updates on and regularly check in with?

Will one site eventually become the place to be and everyone is there and we’re all connected? Can such a place handle the load without crashing? That remains to be seen. Until then, I guess I’ll be getting face time while tweeting so I can stay linked.

What do you do to maintain your networks? Feel free to start a linkfest in the comments section so everyone can see the different options available and settle in where they feel welcome and connected.

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2 comments on “Networking overkill?

  1. I still think that LinkedIn and Facebook provide two very different experiences. The latter isn’t quite on the radar of professionals outside of PR, so if you’re looking to network outside of your profession ye fellow communicators, I don’t think it’s as effective as LinkedIn. LI helped me get a job in Chicago and has allowed me to stay in touch with my ever-expanding network here. Not to mention the endorsements serve as references without needing a list with phone numbers to send as a follow-up. So old school.

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  2. I have recently had other industry professionals contact me via LinkedIn to ask business questions. Its a great way to reach out to a large group of those in the industry who might be able to answer questions for you…rather than sending out a mass email that looks like a forward and gets deleted. That being said, I agree that TOO many networks isn’t a good thing. You need to pick the ones that are a good fit for you and maintain them.

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