Social Networking, what’s missing

I’m not Einstein and this isn’t rocket science – but there is more to the equation than just having a social networking strategy. Read on…

I’m on a few LinkedIn e-mail groups (you can find them on Yahoo Groups), one of which is especially active (almost 5,000 members). There are some very interesting conversations about getting the most out of LinkedIn, the idea of having quantity (you’ve seen those with over 1,000 connections?) vs. quality of relationships, etc. There have been a number of folks from that forum that have signed up on JibberJobber and are using it, and even some that are blogging on the experience (which is fun to watch).

After having been on these e-mail lists for the past few weeks I’ve been impressed with what LinkedIn (and other social networking sites) has to offer. It is a place to meet new people who possibly have similar business or life interests. You can see their profile which is like a resume on steroids, and see how cool they are (I am not very cool as I have less than 50 contacts ;)). You can see where they went to school, where they work(ed). The idea behind social networking is to allow you, from the leisure of your home office (or anywhere), to meet other people that can be beneficial to your life goals, or vice versa.

But you already knew that 😉

On this list there are people that are throwing out new ideas about what LinkedIn should be doing – like adding pictures to a profile and other things (JibberJobber does that – check this out). I’ve been involved in software projects for almost 10 years, and I’m not naive enough to suggest that LinkedIn is going to be the silver bullet – the one-size-fits-all tool for everyone, or even for anyone with similar needs. Social networking tools need to do what they’re best at and integrate with other tools (like LinkedIn + Indeed), as opposed to trying to replace a job board function. That way the social networking tool gives you its best, and the job board or aggregator or whatever does their best, and YOU win.

So I’m surprised to see some people on the list with a huge emphasis on the social networking but neglecting what I’ve found to be so critical, which is the relationship management that JibberJobber provides. I even had a user write me offline, this is a user who understand networking and loves LinkedIn, but is also in a job search – his words where “don’t they get it?” Some will, some won’t. It doesn’t matter.

What I’ve come to realize is that there is more to “the goal” than just what social networking provides. JibberJobber is a great complement to any site like Ryze, Ecadamy, LinkedIn, or any off-line networking that you do. Why? JibberJobber allows you to:

  • rank the relationship with each network
  • keep the relationship private – for your eyes only
  • log important facts/thoughts for each relationship
  • create action items to remind you to do something
  • store the contact info (I don’t see hardly any LinkedIn accounts with contact info)
  • keep the information up to date
  • share your contacts with others at your discretion
  • interface contact information with company information (know 5 people at one company? Put them all in and tie them all together based on the company)
  • interface contact info with the job search (new and improved, hopefully next week you’ll see something awesome (its in testing right now))
  • see your network graphically – want to see how you know someone? Well, the tree view or diagram view will show you this!

There’s more… much more. The value of JibberJobber to you does not depend on the number of JibberJobber members (whereas social networking theoretically becomes more valuable as more people join the network). If you don’t have an account now I suggest you get one – its free.

I don’t care if you have a job, are the boss, self-employed or whatever. You need a serious tool to manage your relationships. Tuesday night I met a guy that was told he’d be promoted to CFO in 3 weeks, and then lost his job. There is no one that cares more about your future than you do, so don’t make the same mistake I did – don’t neglect your career management!

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