What is networking?  Why is networking important? Why am I building a network?  To build a quality network you should know the answers to those questions.

Noun – a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.
  “networking.” The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. 10 May. 2010.
  <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/networking>.

Most definitions of Networking involve connecting computers together.  The definition I’m referring to involves people.  People who have common interests or goals and are committed to helping each other by sharing information or services.  We call that making a connection or linking to a network of people.

Why people Network:

  • To share interests
  • To share information
  • To share experience
  • To develop skills
  • To gain support for a cause

Wrong reasons to Network:

  • Bragging rights?  (I have X number of people in my network)
  • Using your connections to connect to someone else

Is your Network thriving?:

  • When is the last time you reviewed your network?
  • How many people in your network are you actively communicating with?
  • Have you checked in with your network of people?
  • Are you adding value to your network connections?
  • Have your network connections added value to you?

Is your network working?  Have you discovered some dead connections? 

Should I prune my network?

  • What were your motives for networking with this connection in your network?
  • Have you tried to connect with them recently?
  • Did they respond to your communication attempt?

I’m not suggesting that you prune your network immediately.  I’m just saying!!!

(If it’s a weak or dead connection, you probably don’t need it)