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The "Other" Social Networking

I just returned from a trip to North Carolina for a family wedding.  We took a few days’ vacation, but because I had an opportunity to mix in some business meetings, I did just that.  Two of my meetings were with people I’d had phone contact with for months or even years.  What a difference a face-to-face conversation makes!  I actually thought I was doing very well building relationships through email and social networks liked LinkedIn.  I was wrong.   In these cases, I didn’t manage to fully connect until we sat across from one another over coffee or a drink.  It’s almost like the novelty value of an actual, handwritten letter, versus email or a junk envelope with a mailing label attached.  For communicators, I think the lesson isn’t that social networking is ineffective, or that being tethered to the blackberry is wrong (although, for me, getting out from under e-mail is a huge boost to creative thinking.)  It’s that we need to constantly re-evaluate how we communicate, and how we can best make a lasting connection.

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