Ok, I’m a networking newby.  I’ve been involved in the practice for years, but I really am not an expert at it.  I have been a bit more tuned into it lately, and that has brought up a few thoughts.

Weird Networking Criteria

Recently, at the Imagine Virtual Event, I noticed a ‘Networking’ page.  It contained search criteria that allowed you to get some contacts together.  There was no way I was going to get anything mounted in less than 6 hours with various chats and presentations, but I wanted to give everything a go.

The criteria were all things that you already knew, and things that were very specific to the contact. I can’t remember them all, but  think  Name, Company, etc. Searching for some known information would be useful, but it seems like looking in the phone book.  You have to know half the puzzle first. 

What happened to more common criteria?  When I say ‘Common Criteria’, I mean those items that actually make up your common interests.  Hell, I searched for a few associates, and left.  I was more interested in who was there that I did not know….Yet.

What happened???

At AU 2006…Yes, I’m back on 2006.  I missed last year, so I cannot speak with complete accuracy, but based on what I DID witness, 2006 was the ‘be all get all’ AU experience.  Even though some of it is still a blur.

When you logged in to the AU online pre-registration, there was a page that was intended for networking.  It had search criteria, etc, but it also had the coolest visual reference I have ever seen in networking.

Does anyone remember the BIG CIRCLE?

  People were stickpins (sort of), and the more common their goals and interests, the closer they got to the center.  That’s the interests THEY consider important.  Autodesk provides a handy list for you to choose from their interests, which are industry oriented.  Just a hint, but the FIRST thing I go after is people in Parametric Design, that speak Japanese.  So Language exchange is a big one for me.  God help us all if Parametric Design, Japanese, Vodka, and BlackJack all come up.

I thought the guy that came up with that circle stickpin concept should have received a raise and a promotion.  It reminds me of my 80/20 circle that I use to illustrate and reinforce communication and misunderstanding between people of different visions, aptitudes and environments, and how people rarely use feedback correctly.

What happened to the circle. This shows you how out of touch I must be.  Why don’t you see it used everywhere?  Even now on AU online, before the registration for AU.  Seriously, I’d like to know.  LinkedIn etc.?

Anyhow, networking online is just a bit static, and lacks something that I thought the industry recognized. 

Bring Back the Circle!