Dr Carlos Velez has written very interestingly about his Linkedin experience on his blogĀ  The Life Sciences in New York State.

In the article, he recounts an amusing experience of being at a conference where a bunch of people from a particular bank were assiduously collecting business cards from other attendees but requests for them to reciprocate met with a reply along the lines of – oh my goodness, I don’t have any business cards with me. Funny thing, none of the people from that bank were carrying business cards.

As Carlos rightly points out, that’s not networking, that’s just getting leads you can follow up without those people being able to initiate a contact with you. It’s control, not sharing. No doubt the bankers thought they were being smart – my own view is that the universe has a way of sorting out that sort of attitude eventually. Or if that sounds too woowoo, when it comes to networking I subscribe to the motto Dr Ivan Misner promulgates for his BNI network – givers gain. Just taking is not the way to make it work.

You’d think bankers would be trying harder to connect more effectively, wouldn’t you? Or maybe not.

Linkedin offers a model of social/business networking that puts a lot of emphasis on reciprocity. Carlo’s blog post points out some of the advantages and some of the challenges of participating in Linkedin and indicates his experience overall has been positive.

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