August 25, 2010

Keeping in touch with diffuse networks

August 25, 2010 - Categories: connecting

Soha wrote:

I’m a long time reader of your blog and I must say it’s pretty amazing and inspiring. I always look forward to your next post and read it over and over for tips and ideas

But there was one thing that I’m not sure if you’ve covered in the past .. It’s about keeping in touch with your networks and freinds

I’m really having a hard time with this issue.. Particularly how to stay in touch.. What do to and what to say and how often… Etc.. Is there a system that u tried that works for u? Or a schedule that You follow to keep yourself on track?

And what about freinds ?? Do u apply the same approach as with your networks or do u so something else ??

Hope I didn’t ask too many questions but any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated

I rarely e-mail or call people just to catch up. I occasionally look for experiences I can share with friends, and I host get-togethers from time to time. I like checking out people’s social networking updates from time to time, and I comment when I’ve got something to share.

I mostly reach out to people when:

More about the tools I use to connect

This mostly-passive networking style doesn’t fit the advice of most networking books, which focus on techniques for active networking: making lists of contacts you want to make, cultivating relationships through coffees and lunches, working those network events. It works for me, though.

Part of this might be because I let go of the need to be in close touch with specific people, and I open things up to serendipity instead. I don’t have to stress out about not being in close touch with my friends. I still feel warm and fuzzy about people even if I haven’t seen them in a year, and I hope they feel the same too.

Besides, it’s easy for people to keep in touch with me. I write about life on my blog, and I occasionally post social network updates on Twitter, which is synchronized with Facebook and LinkedIn.

Back to diffuse networks. Clouds, if you will.

There’s an oft-quoted limit to social relationships: Dunbar’s number, some 150 people in your “village”, the maximum number of people most people can keep track of, with their interrelationships and quirks. I don’t try.

I want to touch the lives of many more people than I can know, just as I learn from many more people than I can meet. People drift in and out whenever they want. I try to remember as much as I can about people, but it’s okay to re-learn and re-discover.

How do you keep in touch with people? Or perhaps, a different question: How do you cultivate serendipity?

2010-08-23 Mon 20:09