The Importance of NetworkingPosted On Saturday, 25 Jun 2011 By mani. Under Technology Tags:
Networking or connecting is a powerful tool in the modern day developments. The emergence of the World Wide Web, the biggest revolution to have impacted the human lives in the last few decades has given a new concept and importance to networking. These days’ people are more akin to network virtually, rather than through the real route. However, that doesn’t mean real life networking is dead. The ideal way to go about is to intertwine real life networking with the virtual networking, commensurate with the need, situations and significance. The boundary less world has come to the fore. Professionals cutting across sectors, domains and levels can know what is happening at the other part of the hemisphere even though he doesn’t have any real life contacts there. Virtual networking is here and has given a new dimension to the way people with the others. All these have had a profound change in the way people live.
Networking has taken center stage from time immemorial. In the earlier days networking was more through person to person contact and geographical constraints coupled with inaccessibility outside ones closed groups, like relatives, friends and colleagues were difficult to materialize. The developments in the field of communication technology took the need of networking to a new level. Telephony came to the fore, the advent of fax, telex, telegrams made it a tad easier; however, the real turnaround came with pagers, cell phones and internet. The definition of networking too went for a metamorphosis and building and maintaining relations for personal and professional purposes got a huge facelift. Earlier the networking with the closed groups known to each other was more for personal needs, these days the blurred definition of networking often blends personal and professional requirements either from the same person or from his or her contacts. Some of the needs which have surfaced in the recent past are listed below- (1) Need to exchange knowledge on global challenges facing the human kind, viz. environmental degradation, health and disease, economic issues, people to people contact etc. (2) Knowing about the professional developments in line with ones domain area, from all across the globe. (3) Making friends virtually either through social networking portals or through the snail mails. (4) Building professional network commensurate with ones profession, globally through the professional networking portals. (5) Exchanging of ideas, news, opinions, perspectives, knowledge, experience through online forums. (6) Dissemination of information and knowledge through blogs, micro-blogs and expressing out self to the world. All these developments are quite recent and have peaked up in the last decade. The free flow of communication courtesy the internet and fast exchanges of ideas and communication has taken the importance of networking to a different level altogether. Opines, Ahmed, a professional trainer based in Mumbai, India, “I learn most of the new developments in my arena through my virtual contacts with whom, I am in active touch through http://www.facebook.com, through http://www.linkedin.com and sometimes through my blogs and micro-blogs”. Ahmed’s case isn’t one off instance, in fact networking through these virtual modes have become the order of the day. A common saying which is doing the rounds globally says that a modern day netizen have more of the virtual pals rather than the real pals. The time spent by people on these portals have increased manifold. Although there are flipsides to all these developments, its better to concentrate and activate the strengths, rather than the weakness of the virtual networking mode.
The changes in networking are there to be seen. One glance across the list of contacts in http://www.facebook.com would reveal that people are friendly quite easily with those not known to them personally. These couldn’t have been thought off a few decades back. Such unknown relationships starting with the exploration of an individual or a group for some specific needs based on homogeneous tastes, likes, interests have often led to impact even the personal lives in a big way. Studies galore proving the fact that netizens have not only managed their professional contacts through these but have also got time-tested pals and sometimes even soul mates. The personal chemistry building in this new age of networking has definitely undergone a big change. People though are susceptible to a lurking danger owing to the unknowingness of the contacts, some small things goes a long way in helping a stranger to protect himself or herself against any of the disadvantages brought about by the virtual networking mode. There are some behavioral aspects that needs to be monitored and quite often it becomes easy for an individual to understand the personality traits and intention of a virtual contact, which otherwise may have been difficult in the real world. Reports suggest that modern day employers are trying to do to a virtual reality check of their prospective employees on the basis of their virtual behaviors. This can very easily be identified and deciphered if one follows the contacts, the discussions and online phenotypic characteristics.
A Management Trainer, Consultant and Faculty based in the Sultanate of Oman with past Experiences in UAE, India and Australia. Can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and blogs on www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com, www.manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com www.twitter.com/manitwitts