Everyone is looking forward, making New Years resolutions and planning for 2010. It is the thing to do. I am too. But, as I’m looking forward, I couldn’t help but pause and take a look back. I wondered; was there anything different, unique for me about 2009. The obvious came to mind. I started this blog, my girls had a number of firsts, the economy was rough, but as I thought about it, it occurred to me; 2009 did have a very unique element to it. I made more friends online than I made offline. My network grew.
I have always been a big fan of networking. I believe there is tremendous value in engaging and knowing lots of different people. I have gotten most of my jobs, started businesses, hired employees, acquired new customers, and more all from my network. Despite, my appreciation of networks, over the past few years, mine has suffered a little. I’ve moved, gotten married, had kids, started a new job, and work out of the house. None of these things are conducive to building or managing a network, especially working from home.
In 2009 my network grew. Not in the traditional sense, by handshake and physical meeting, but online.
Twitter, Facebook, and this blog have been instrumental in introducing me to new people. These aren’t just fans or followers, but people I respect for their knowledge, people I enjoy for their person and people who have been helpful. The experience in meeting these people has been no different than meeting people offline. The fact that I’ve never met them in person has had no impact on the value of the relationship.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these people. They are making a real impact in my life. I’m working with some. I’m collaborating on sales efforts with others. I’ve assisted others in selling and promoting their products. It’s just like my offline network.
My network grew in 2009. Not in the traditional way, but in a new way.
I don’t think this is an anomaly, I suspect next year my online network will be even bigger, not only for me but everyone online and this is a great thing.
Did your network grow in 2009?