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Social Networking, Quantity or Quality

by David Brock on August 1st, 2007
I’ve been tracking, participating and experimenting in a number of social networking and other community building tools.

What are your views about building your “social” or “business” networks, Quantity versus Quality?

As an early invitee to LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/), I think I fell into the same trap that I saw many people doing: Going for quantity in networks versus quality. In other blogs and posts, there is lots of discussion about this, with arguments for both. I actually tend to fall on the side of a quality network rather than quantity. In LinkedIn, I have been offended by people I do not know, trying to link themselves or their friends though me. If I don’t know them, why do I feel confident in introducing them to my friends and leveraging my network?

My current network, at LinkedIn, about 30 percent of the people, I actually don’t know. Many of them have been unresponsive to my queries—I write saying “we’re linked to each other, why don’t we try to get to know each other?” Why are we networked, what’s the point other than bragging rights?

My real world or physical world network is very important to me, it’s one I treasure and protect. Why should I, or anyone for that matter, do otherwise for our virtual or digital networks?

I’m starting to pare the list of contacts to represent a smaller but more functional network and a better replication of what I use my physical world networks for.

I have recently started using Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/), partly at Jeff Pulver’s recommendation. It is an interesting application, I like the real world and dynamic feel to it. At the same time, having learned from my experience at LinkedIn, I am being much more careful and slow in expanding my friends and network on Facebook.

I’m also excited about the application and community building aspect of Facebook. I’m looking to learn a lot from it.

Join me if you want. If you are part of LinkedIn, my email is dabrock@excellenc.com. Send me an invitation. At Facebook, search for me and send me an invitation. I do want to “meet you” and learn about you and how we can help each other, so when you send an invitation, know that is expected.

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