Tag Archives: ben casnocha

Tips For Adulthood: Five Facts About Networking

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

I was invited to a coffee morning yesterday with some other parents at my son’s school. Although several weeks earlier, I’d told the person organizing it that I would definitely be there, on the day – as so often happens – I wondered whether I really should bother. After all, I had an exercise class to go to right afterwards. And several job applications to fill out with looming deadlines. And. And. And.

But in the end, I did go. And I’m really glad that I did. Because not only was it enjoyable, it also proved to be an excellent networking opportunity. I ended up chatting with two mums whom I barely knew, and told them that I was looking for a job. Turns out, one of them has a friend who volunteers at an organization where I’m applying to work, and another used to work at a different organization where I’d also love an “in.” Both women offered to help me out, and set the connections in motion immediately.

I network all the time – whether it’s with the odd mix of friends and strangers who populate my Twitter, Linked In and Facebook accounts – or in the old-fashioned way, through coffee mornings and the like. I use my networks for things as diverse as researching stories, locating family-friendly hotels in Vienna, helping friends find babysitters or determining the best place to buy a duvet cover in London.

Here are five facts about networking, old-school and new:

1. Networking is increasingly about ideas, not people. I’d love to claim credit for this pithy kernel of wisdom, but it actually comes via communications consultant extraordinaire Chris Brogan. Brogan points out that in the old days, because it required your physical presence, networking depended heavily on “genetics, geography and our job.” In a Web 2.0 world, however, we can network with anyone on the planet. As a result, he argues, our new networks are based “more about thinking, mindsets…passions, and future visions. Our past is there, but it’s not often the focal point. Rather, it’s our ideas and our ideals that drive things forward.” As I go about job hunting in an Online world – locating cool websites like Escape The City which seeks to match job seekers with employers based as much on their world view as on their skill sets – I see just how very right he is.

2. Social networking is highest among boomers. We tend to think of things like Facebook and Twitter as the province of the young. While it’s true that younger demographics continue to be the heaviest users of social networks, older users are joining such services at a much more rapid rate. According to a survey taken by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in 2010, social networking has almost doubled among those over 50 — growing from 22 percent to 42 percent over the previous year. While boomers and seniors are usually introduced to social networking by their children, they tend to stay for more traditional “networking” reasons: to start a second career, to re-connect with old friends as they approach retirement and/or to consult with their cohort over health-related matters.

3. Women trust Online women’s networks more than other sites. Women are by far the biggest users of social media. But new research also finds that women are more likely to trust and value information found in Online women’s communities than other social networks or websites. In a survey of over 2,000 adult women, respondents said they valued time spent in women’s communities three times more than social networks (45% vs. 15%) and almost twice as much as portals like Yahoo and AOL. They are also more trusting of product information or advice when it comes from other women Online, according to the research. Having spent quite a bit of time hanging out in places like the Brit Mums Blog, I can readily see why.

4. But women don’t network as successfully as men at work. According to a recent study by an anthropologist at the University of Indiana, women do just as much networking as men do in the work place and are connected to just as many people, but their style of networking does not yield the same results. Specifically, they do not end up connected to as many people higher up in the organization and even when they do make those connections, the higher ups tend to favor men.  Hmmmm. Perhaps this explains that pervasive glass ceiling we keep hearing about?

5. Human relationships still matter. As my coffee morning example above demonstrates, you can be as socially networked as you like, but at the end of the day, human relationships still matter. My favorite example of this comes from blogger and entrepreneur Ben Casnocha, who has a great story about serendipity and randomness on the internet, all grounded in real life.

 

Image: network by hikingartist via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you towards some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on nurturing and creativity, featured on Writerhead.

2. Please drop everything you’re doing and watch this short clip from The Trip, in which actors Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden do their impersonations of Michael Caine. Brilliant. (Hat tip: David Edelstein)

3. Over on Gawker, we have Stephen Colbert’s hilarious reaction to the passage of the gay marriage bill in New York State.

4. Another video worth watching: here’s Chris Rock on the difference between job and careers. Very wise. (Hat tip: Ben Casnocha)

5. And, seriously, what would life be without a set of oreo cameos?

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you towards some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. Nothing quite screams generation gap when it comes to Osama Bin Laden’s death as much as  this little screen shot over on Boing Boing.

2. I think we all know where I stand on the amazingly talented, barefooted piano-playing comedian Tim Minchin. Here’s his latest endeavor:  an animated movie of his 9-minute beat poem, Storm. LOVE him.

3. Looking for a great book to read or to give as a gift? The Guardian asked a bunch of British authors which books they most enjoyed getting/giving as a gift. Some really great ideas in here.

4. Here’s a clever idea for a blog: one man’s journey to tour Europe guided only by a 1963 copy of Arthur Frommer’s Europe on Five Dollars a Day. I give you Europe on Five Bad Ideas A Day.

5. Before you do anything else, please, please just have a look at Mapping Stereotypes. It made my day. (Hat tip: Very Short List)

6. And to end on a sad – but deeply moving – note, here’s Derek  Miller of Penmachine.com’s last blog post, written shortly before he died of cancer, and published upon his death. Amazing. (Hat Tip: Ben Casnocha)

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. Ben Casnocha has a terrific analysis of what makes for a great interview. I couldn’t believe the Noam Chomsky interview he highlighted. Wow.

2. I adored this history of “the heckle” in the British House of Commons over at The Guardian. Bring back pecksniffian, I say! (And Joe Wilson, take note!)

3. I also really enjoyed Annabelle Gurwitch’s take on Al Gore’s J-Date Profile at The Huffington Post. I think it’s OK to start making Al Gore jokes again.

4. Writers will be inspired by this post at Beyond The Margins by Leslie Greffenius about what makes you a writer. (Teaser: there’s a reference to Madeleine L’Engle!)

5. I’m always bowled over by people who decide to follow their bliss at any age. So I was super-chuffed (speaking of Britishisms) to see that the mother of one of my childhood friends – Mary Ellen Murphy – has recently started a blog about reading. (This is in addition to her regular facebook postings about Russell Crowe.) Mary, what can I say? I salute you. Please, everybody, do swing by and visit Mary’s blog:  Reading.

6. Finally, for those who are interested in the BP debacle, I’m over on www.PoliticsDaily.com today talking about how President Obama’s whole “ass-kicking thing” is playing over in the U.K.

As ever, please do follow me on Twitter.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. One of my colleagues at www.PoliticsDaily.com pointed me to this list of 15 ways to predict divorce over at The Daily Beast. Check out #15.

2. I absolutely adored this essay by Becky Tuch at Beyond the Margins where the author explains why she’s “breaking up” with Facebook. Priceless!

3. And speaking of Facebook, Ben Casnocha has a thoughtful meditation on youth, identity and social marketing.

4. As always, I’m in love with Roger Ebert’s Journal and especially this post where he launches a campaign for real movies.

5. As someone who writes a lot about her family, I confess that this post by Lisa Gornick about how to write about your kids on Christina Baker Kline’s blog really made me think twice.

6. Finally, another gem from Michelle Kerns’ Book Examiner blog at Examiner.com. This one lists 30 famous authors whose work was rejected. (Hat tip: Lisa Romeo Writes.)

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter!

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. Here’s a moving story from the New York Times’ Modern Love column about how one woman chose to move on after a break up.

2. For the wordsmiths out there, here’s a great post on the expression “It turns out” from the jsomers.net blog (via Ben Casnocha.)

3. And if you’re really feeling literary-minded, have a look at this quick, six-minute quiz at Sporcle to see how many books you can name from their covers (Hat Tip: Katy Keim’s Book Snob.)

4. In the Department of Visual Effects, check out Britain’s best-loved streets in The Guardian, as well as 19 insanely colored houses at Burbia.

5. Here’s a thoughtful meditation on grief as a collective experience at Salon. Do not miss the embedded video, which features a teen-age girl’s song tribute to her mother who died of cancer.

6. Finally, for those feeling nostalgic for the 70s, my favorite film critic – New York Magazine’s David Edelstein – weighs in on how he’d cast the sequel to Gilligan’s Island on his blog The Projectionist.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. Here’s an incredibly well-written account of what it’s like to live through an earthquake from Ben Casnocha, who’s living in Chile.

2. In the department of funny bits about aging, have a look at this post on The Ten Geekiest Ways to Hide Your Age at The Boomer Chronicles. While you’re at it, have a look as well at this thoughtful take on what The Partridge Family might look like 30 years on at Surviving Middle Aged Widowhood.

3. More funny. Sara in Vermont shows us a laugh-out-loud British comedy sketch about a writer pitching an idea to an agent. (Hat Tip: There Are No Rules.) And here’s a very funny four-second video at Formerly Hot designed for those of us who remain technologically challenged.

4. Further to last week’s recommended reading on libraries and librarians, here are some stunning photographs of 20 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, as well as writer Bibi van der Zee’s take in The Guardian on what it’s like for a true bibliophile to go a week without books.

5. Finally, because sometimes you really can’t make this sh!$ up, here’s my post on PoliticsDaily.com today about the new condoms being designed for – gulp – 12 year olds.

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