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Social Networking: an opportunity to connect with the past and build relationships for the future...

Mat Newman  August 14 2010 13:57:34
A quick personal post for a change.  Three things happened this week which are all directly attributable to Social Networking.

First, I hooked up with a mate that I haven't seen for a few years yesterday courtesy of Facebook.

Over a quick chat we filled in the blanks from the intervening period and he flicked me through a list of contacts that he maintains.  I spent a few hours today checking profiles, laughing, reminiscing and connecting.

It reminded me of the 20 year high-school reunion that I attended a while ago with my wife, Deb.  That was an interesting evening.  We sat at a table with my girlfriend from high-school, where Deb and Louise swapped notes and generally spent the night 'picking' on me.  It was a heap of fun :-)

Funny how good friends are always friends, regardless of whether they grow apart or loose contact.  The people who know you best, your shared history, where you came from, and who you are - are the people who remind you why you are the person you are.

Second, a business/personal contact is going to be in another country, in the same city as I am; at the same time.  Social Networking enabled me to connect with him and plan a catch-up session that we've been trying to achieve since Lotusphere in the 'States this year ... seems like we are only able to get together when we're overseas :-)

Third, out of the blue I received an invitation to connect with another member of the Yellowverse (well ... Blueverse in this case) while visiting at the same location.  Of course, I leapt at the opportunity - I've visited IBM offices all over the world - it's always a great experience meeting the 'locals', swapping notes and learning from new people.  If it wasn't for a Twitter 'mention', I would have missed the invite.

There's a great debate about the value of Social Networking in the workplace.

I know many organisations simply block access to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

My own experience is that it (Social Networking) builds an enormous amount of value, both professionally and personally.  I don't know how we ever lived without it.
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Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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