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Personal Network – google search NOW

I’ve been surprised as I explore the idea of the Personal Network that there is so little focussed information.

For example, a search on Google (UK version) for “Personal Network” gives very

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few relevant links on the first page.

Highlights are:-

A Wikipedia entry – that seems to be by an East European, Pawel Zorzan – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Network

A very good PDF outlining a course given in the US to young students by bonner.org (it’s great that someone is already teaching the value of a Personal Network to youngsters) – http://www.bonner.org/resources/…pdf/BonCurBldgPersonalNetwk.pdf

A blog entry from 2007 by Stephen Downes from Canada (why is all the cool stuff on blogging, networking, etc from Canada these days??) – http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/11/personal-network-effect.html

Stephen’s entry pointed me in the direction of Robin Dunbar – and his book “How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks”. Robin came up with the idea that 150 is the “magic number” for personal connections. He’s on my summer reading list … so more soon!

Anyway, if you do a Google search of “Social Networks” there is a very different set of results (lots of competing banners, side bar adverts and good links). If you’ve read more of this blog – then you know that I feel that Personal Networks are a significant part of your “net worth” – so why so little focus compared to the “spin of the hour” (social networks!)??

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“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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