I have to say, there’s a lot to like about this Computerworld article, Schmoozing 101: Tips for shy techies, but I really enjoyed the fact that one of the tips was to use social networking tools. I’ve been saying this for a long time now, as an introvert who is unlikely and just plain uncomfortable trying to track someone down on the phone or start up conversations with people I don’t know at all, social networking helps bridge a lot of those gaps when it comes to networking. For example, I’m going to the ILTA09 conference, and this will be my first year there. I’ll go knowing a couple of folks from my firm, and a handful of folks from the local Columbus ILTA chapter. I’ll also go knowing that there’s another bunch of folks I interact with on Twitter or Facebook on a regular basis too. That means I’m not going to try and talk to people I don’t know, I’m going to meetup with folks I already know quite a bit about. That makes conversation so much easier!
So, the next time you’re going to a networking event, start writing about your plans on Twitter or your blog, and see if you can’t connect with folks ahead of time. That should make it easier on everyone once you get there!