Are You A Connector Or A Collector?

You’ve received the requests to ‘friend’ and connect, join groups and add applications.

Question is: Are you a Connector or a Collector?

What does that mean? Well, it’s simple really…either you just accept all the ‘friend requests’ – whether its on Facebook or LinkedIn, Plaxo or Spock and then never do anything with them – OR you accept the request (and you make them as well), but then you follow up with the people you connected with; to find out what “makes them tick” and how you can help them.

Either by introducing them to a coveted connection, giving some networking tips, listening to their story; whatever it is that would help them and make your connection stronger. How many people online really learn about their connections?

If I would pull all your connections/friends – what can you tell me about them? Do they have anything in common? Why are you connected to them? What are you trying to achieve? What are their goals? Their Story? And where do you fit in?

If you can’t answer these questions – at least for part of your online community – its time to start getting involved. Just collecting names/numbers doesn’t count – because it doesn’t benefit you – OR them. You might as well stay off-line.

You have to get involved with your network – just as if you were seeing them face to face. Is it work? Definitely. But the pay offs are huge…how else would you get to know people world wide? Learn about them, their culture, their business, make connections that might benefit you in the future – and just in general expand your horizons? The answer is clear – you wouldn’t!

So – stop collecting and start connecting!

What are your thoughts and ideas on this issue? Do you agree? Disagree?

 

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About Sabine
Mom, Sister, Friend, Traveller, World Citizen, Realtor, Optimist

6 Responses to Are You A Connector Or A Collector?

  1. Sabine,

    I’m glad to see our conversation prompted this post!

    My “drug of choice” is facebook and my personal “friending policy” basically follows the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    I make sure that anyone I friend request gets a message to let them know how we’re connected and/or what prompted my requesting the connection. And when I receive similarly social messages I make sure I respond after accepting their friend request.

    On the flip side I am willing to accept random friend requests with no message, but they get my limited profile. I rarely chase the “collectors” and spend my time connecting with the social side of my network.

    I wonder if it is about time for a purge of the anti-social in my network…

    Thanks for the food for thought!

  2. ian chapman says:

    this is a good question that everyone who is involed in social networking should ask themselves. I personally check everyones profile when I friend them and make a little note about them, what they are intersted in , what specialities they have, so I know which people I can develop a deeper relationship wih and know how to quickly find anyone in my network because I have taken the time to find out about them and exchange messages. I could clearly see themes running through my friends as my network grew, There also seem to be specific geographical areas in the world that my friends seem to concentrate in.

  3. Sabine says:

    Ian,

    Maybe it’s just me – but I’ve been getting the feeling not everyone follows your policy of checking first….However, I’m glad to hear it! I like it! As for seeing themes and connections – I like the friendwheel app…it’s interesting.

    Wayne,

    I can definitely live with your rule! And I’m glad you respond – I’d hate to have missed our ongoing conversation!

    Looks like you’re taking it a step further than I did – by thinking about purging the “anti-social” in your network. Let me know how that goes?

  4. Hi Sabine, thanks for the post, it gives people something to think about.

  5. Bob Crawford says:

    Lots of great thoughts here. I’m sort of torn on this subject… I guess it depends upon the network… I tend to welcome everyone, even random requests, and I make certain to message anyone who included a message to me in their request.

    I’m a strong believer in the law of attraction and my network of friends is a testament to that. Sure, there are some people out there who are ‘collectors’, but the truth is simple: I don’t know which of those friends will become clients or customers or jv partners, or subscribers…

    I don’t know which of them will be the link to a great new adventure!

    I don’t know which of them I will be able to help or connect or aid in some way…

    So I guess my philosophy is, “Come on in, stay as long as you like, tell me how we can help each other.”

    My point of view is admittedly different from some people who are using social networks for a specific purpose or trying to market to a tight niche of people. In those cases, it may appear to make sense to keep your friends lists lean and mean.

    Now, on the down side, I do spend extra time weeding out group invites and events and apps and things, but, because there is always a silver lining in any cloud, as I’m doing so I often discover great sites and info that I would have missed!

    To each his own! Thanks for the thought provoking post!

  6. Sabine says:

    Bob,

    You are right – you never know what will happen in the future. So making new connections is always a gamble. 🙂

    However – with some input on everyones part – it can be a great experience. And it certainly doesn’t have to be “just” about business! That person you’re connecting with today could be your next buddy to go antique shopping with, the next Amazon Addict who sifts through the offerings with you, etc…

    Just my two cents…

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