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Posts Tagged ‘Mitch Joel’

LinkedIn – Love it or cancel it!? Facebook – don’t know what to do with it.

October 13, 2010 2 comments

I’m in danger of becoming a bit of a Personal Network “bore”. At the moment, it is a novelty with friends and contacts to discuss the area of Personal Networking (they’ve been wondering when I would end my prolonged spell of “funemployment”) – and I’m really enthusiastic to chat!

Here are a couple of example conversations from today around social networking.

This afternoon, I chatted over a cup of tea after watching my son’s rugby match with a mum who is a professional life-coach. We both have an interest in social networking – and are connected on LinkedIn. She’s currently having a race with one of her friends to see who can reach 500 connections first! She likes LinkedIn – and uses it for

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Alumni meetings for a large company she used to work for. It’s a good way to keep in touch with her more distant network.

Then, this evening, another contact mailed me with feedback he had had from an American colleague about LinkedIn.

“I have cancelled LinkedIn because of on-line spoofing. I think that it is not a waste of time at all but the harassment is simply not worth it. All is monitored by Homeland Security here but these computer sites are being used here in the United States simply to harass people – thus destroying their networking value.”

Interesting reaction. In discussions with my friend, I compared it to someone cutting off their home phone-line 20 years ago because they got a few sales calls. The challenge is that we are in a “gold rush” in the area of social networking – and you can therefore end up in a territory with a lot of cowboys! I’d be more inclined to stick with it and find ways of avoiding the cowboys.

The two examples above – show the diverse reactions to LinkedIn (race to the top … or press the cancel button!).

I am facing a challenge at the moment – what to do about my Facebook account? As you will have read in earlier blogs, I use it mainly to keep an eye on what my children are up to!

Yesterday, in a quiet moment, I thought I would have a play and tweak some Facebook settings. I made my Birthday private – it’s not that I’m worried about my age, but (as a Brit) I find birthday greetings from distant contacts a bit strange. Also, I thought I would follow Mitch Joel’s advice and have a consistent photo in all social media. No sooner had I done this – than my sister (who I don’t see enough of) had written on my wall “Wow! Distinguished new profile pic! xx”. It was nice that she’d “pinged” me – but embarrassing that I’d tried to change to a “corporate” look in her space!

Anyway, I reverted to being Facebooky – and have now changed to a picture of me and my sister as kids on the beach!!

Do I close it down, lighten up – or have different Facebook pages for Phil the human and Phil the entrepreneur??

Decisions, decisions….

Judged by the Company You Keep

There’s a great post on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation today entitled “The Next Big Think On-Line could well be Anonymity”.

It got me thinking about (and researching a little) the idea that you are “Judged by the Company You Keep”. WikiAnswers tells me that “This comment is known as early as 1541 in an Old English form. In 1591 is appears as ‘if a man can be known as nothing else, then he may be known by his companions’. In 1912 it is quoted as we know it today, by Saki, in the Chronicles of Clovis.” Ralph Waldo Emerson says similar “Show me who a man’s friends are and I will tell you who he is.”

I’ve tried to approach this is a simple way on LinkedIn – I have turned my connections to “Your connections are not allowed

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to view your connections list.” It’s not that I don’t like my connections (I personally know them all!) – but the on-line crowd for someone my age (47) and British (not as web-friendly/gregarious as our North American friends) – is a little eclectic. If you took ALL “the company I keep” – I’d be pretty happy at you judging me in the round. I’d think that around 5% of the people I know are connected to me via LinkedIn.

I suspect readers of this blog are less of the younger, “Facebook crowd” – and more looking to examine and extend their Personal Networks. In building and developing your Personal Network – it’s important to consider the effect the “company you keep” has on your personal brand. Don’t try to be someone you are not – but remember your Personal Network (company you keep) is a significant indication of this. Make sure that your “public’ presence (especially on-line in this day and age) is a fair reflection of who you are.

Reading List – the research so far … and the summer reading shelf

As mentioned,  I have been running up my Amazon bill doing this Personal Network research.  See the picture of my Personal Network bookshelf…..

I’ve created a list on my LinkedIn Profile – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/philobr.  I would be interested

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if you have any other suggestions. List – as of this evening – is below.  I need to get reading….

Profit Power Economics: A New Competitive Strategy for Creating Sustainable Wealth

by Mia de Kuijper

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Mia actually signed the book for me – I’d gone to shelter from the rain in Waterstones at the back of the LSE … and I could not resist. Fascinating read – especially if you transpose her thoughts on power nodes as the business units of the future …. to individuals. One day, I will be a power node…..”

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Bought, on the shelf … and soon to be read!”

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “In my bag for reading on holiday. Will do a short review soon. I found an extract on Malcolm’s blog – and he kindly game me permission to use on my blog. Nice guy.”

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

by Timothy Ferriss

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “I’ve read it – I got my wife to read it … and I’m going to send a copy to a few friends. Tim does a great job on getting you focussed on what is important in life. thought provoking….”

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

by Youngme Moon

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “On the shelf – and will be read soon!”

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

by Mitch Joel

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Would thoroughly recommend this book. Mitch Joel is one of the ever increasing band of Canadians setting the digital networking and blogging world on fire. This book got me over the line to create my blog – and is a great read.”

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail

by Keith Ferrazzi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil is reading this book

Comment: “This is on my summer list – and I’m about 1/3rd of the way through. I do like that even though Keith is obviously a confident guy – he will share how he has got things wrong and helps others to learn through the occasional failure. More soon….”

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Keith Ferrazzi is a leader in the world of networking. This books gives a great overview for anyone who wants to improve their networking skills. It’s a little “american” for a Brit like myself … we are a pretty reserved race. However, the principles and tips are excellent – and the principles sound. “

Six Degrees of Connection: How to Unlock Your Leadership Potential (Volume 1)

by Liz Dow

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “I’ve bought this – and had a quick skim. I am going to read after the “Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell – which this book and Liz’s work was inspired by.”

Brilliant Networking: What the Best Networkers Know, Do, and Say

by Steven D’Souza

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Brilliant (BRIGHT) cover – and an amazing quote/speech from Robert Muller of the UN in the intro/preface. On the reading list for the summer”

Personal Networking: How to Make Your Connections Count

by Mick Cope

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Bought from amazon – and on the reading list. I like the FT business books – I used one of these books (on Business Plans) as a reference throughout my business life. Looking forward to reading.”

Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences)

by Stanley Wasserman, Katherine Faust

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Now – we are talking SERIOUS book here. Dan (my technical partner) and myself are battling for who reads this one first. I was attracted by the fact the book series was edited by Mark Granovetter (who developed the idea of “strength in weak ties” in the 70s). Will be a challenge to read … with my little brain…!”

How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks

by Robin Dunbar

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “I’d read about the principle that you should have/only need 150 friends/contacts. Research lead me to Robin Dunbar (this is called the Dunbar Number). In the bag to be read this summer.”

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (Open Market Edition)

by Duncan J. Watts

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “On my reading list – and on the shelf. Will get read this summer.”

Connected

by Christakis, Nicholas A., Fowler, James H.

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “This is waiting to be read on my shelf. Flick through says that it’s going to be a great resource to understand about visualising Personal Networks.”

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “The follow up to “Linked” – on my shelf and ready to be read this summer.”

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means

by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “This is the very best book to give an overview of how similar our personal networks are to other networks (all the way down to chemical protein!!). He guides you through with anecdotes and thorough research. A copy should be on the shelf of anyone serious about networking.”

Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

by Tim Sanders

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Really enjoyable – and quick – read. Love his principle of being so positive in the business environment. I share his views on focussing on giving/doing the right thing … but as a Brit, not sure about all the hugging!! Buy and give your nice side a run out at work….”

Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections (Paperback)

by Ivan Misner (Author)David Alexander (Author) Brian Hilliard (Author)

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “This is a very good book to give you a view of the process of networking. Ivan Misner is an authority on the subject – and runs the BNI (which is heavily promoted throughout). Gives a good overview fo the principles of how networks work.”

Mitch Joel – “Not all ‘Friends’ are created equal”

I’ve been considering blogging seriously for probably 6 months. Lots of reading and research later – the final push has come from Mitch Joel’s excellent book “Six Pixels of Separation”. I’ve said to my colleagues working on VizWho that once I’d finished his book – I would finally get cracking on the blog I’ve been going on about! And I have….

The book is in no way specifically about Personal Networking – it’s much more about your on-line presence being a major part of how people judge you. However, in the final chapter – an inspirational “miracle” for me. The very last section is called

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“Pushing Out on to the Horizons” – in which he describes “the ten emerging trends in a Six Pixels of Separation World”. In at number 4 is “Levels of Connection” (reproduced with kind permission of Mitch).

“Not all “friends” are created equal. Somewhere, someone (hopefully skilled in both the art of computer programming and in how networks are formed) is beginning to unravel what would be considered strong links that individuals have versus very weak ones.

Because many people are focussed on “how many” friends they have instead of the quality of links, understanding whom to trust (and who trusts them) is very complicated.

The best connections are the real and authentic ones. For your business to grow by using online social networking and the other digital channels, you are going to need a way to understand more about the individuals you are connecting to than how many connections they have. The key to success is in understanding the quality and different levels of trust the individuals have within their own social graphs. Just like search engine results have some kind of algorithm behind them that quantifies why some things rank higher than others, soon the same type of indexing will be done on individuals and the company they keep. How highly would you and your network rank in this type of environment?”

Mitch has got it very right – and I hope that I can give some energy to unravel this.

Thank you Mitch

“Personal Network” Network

One thing that I believe has been a strength during my life is the ability that when I want to steer a new course or check out new ideas is to ask the people I know who they know.   With my Personal Network’s help I have managed to get so some amazing places – and develop interesting projects (both business and personal).

The other skill that I use when I am trying to develop a strategy for a new project (often away from my core knowledge and competence) is to devour information and learn as much as I can before getting to know people in a new area.

Well, here I am – in the area of Personal Networks – and I really know nobody who

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is knowledgeable or important!  Well, actually, there is one person – Mrs Moneypenny, the Financial Times extraordinary anonymous networker!  More on her later….

As mentioned, I do like to do my research before launching in to a project – so I’ve been avidly reading books, checking out blogs and diving in to the occasional bit of academic research (which does stretch my brain a little too far!).  The result is – that the first visualisation (or visualization if you are American) project has been to map out the “Personal Network Experts” that I have identified through books, blogs, the academic world, etc.  As of today, I know one person in this network (and a very tenuous link to another) – but it is my challenge over the coming months to make an intro and try to develop a relationship and build up trust so they can become part of my “Personal Network” Network (think I’ll start to abbreviate that to PNN!).

This first network diagram has been produced in a mind mapping software that I like to use for project to-do lists called Mind Meister.  I think it’s a fun way of giving me a “helicopter” view of things.

“Personal Network” Network – Mindmap on Mindmeister

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