If you don’t get networking, you won’t get online networking

Earlier this week I was reading Kevin O’Keefe’s post about what you really learn about blogging from lawyers who give it up, and I was reminded about some conversations I had about this time last year.

As I was preparing to talk at the ILTA09 conference about social networking, I had many conversations inside and outside of my firm about the concept. One of the things that struck me was how many people looked at Twitter or Facebook and just dismissed them out of hand. Generally this was followed by a comment along the lines of “I don’t care what anyone is doing, why would I spend my time reading that!” (aka “I don’t care what you had for lunch”)

What occurred to me as I explored the reasoning behind those sorts of comments was that, frequently, these people didn’t really see the benefit in networking offline, let alone online. Yes, social networking tools allowed them efficiently connect with more people than had been possible, but these people didn’t really understand the benefit of being connected to people in the first place. No wonder they thought online networking was a waste of time. To them, it is!

So if you’re trying to be your firms champion when it comes to blogging and social networking, it might not hurt to remind people of the basics of networking in general. You’d be surprised how many people don’t really get that.

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