Gareth Wong, founder of GamBond®, Gambit special interest group (www.TheGambit.info) and CXO Europe's thought on virtual networking.
I use various online social networks, from LinkedIn, Plaxo to facebook (only started a few months).
However, business wise, I use mostly LinkedIn due to the extensive number of senior executives across many business sectors and countries. As I network extensively both within and outside gaming gambling sectors (looking at Technology, media, entertainment, finance and governments), I thought the environment of linkedIn most appropriate (less complex, essentially linked CVs of different individuals). Although it has changed a bit and provide more messaging, questions & answers etc, I hope these would not scare off other senior executives.
However, a network is only as good as quality of people and the value they bring (rather than take!), therefore, I'm getting stricter by the day in terms of whom I would connect with. As I find too people who are "trying it on" and linking for linking sake or trying to contact my network for selfish reasons, so, I just cut them off. It may seem as drastic, but I want genuine & qualified requests to get the best response and don't want to waste anyone's time, especially my senior contacts!
In terms of Groups, in 2004, I chose also run the Executive MBA alumni group for my business school on linkedIn and in 06, I also founded the Gambit group there, for people that support and have previously been to Gambit events (as sponsors, speakers or those that bought our tickets) and buy into our ethos.
In terms of numbers, on my personal database, I have more than 12,000+ entries on my blackberry, and just over 1,400 people connected with me on LinkedIn, and 270+ on facebook.
Having founded and run CXO Europe, I find I have to be more selective now on whom I exchange cards with and whom I invite to join my networks, as I have so much lunch,telephone requests that are mostly requested on basis of meetings for meetings sake. I maybe writing too much already.
One thing is clear, networking is like farming, you cannot expect anything unless you spent time in cultivating & looking after the plants. Looking to start farming at time of a draught & femine is already too late!
Furthermore, meeting face to face cannot be replaced by how many people you know or connected virtually! The more senior people are, the less virtual network applies!! Therefore, CXO is focus primarily on our peer lunches & evening VIP invitation only gatherings.
Happy networking! (Virtual or otherwise)
Founder of Gambit (www.TheGambit.info), GamBond® ( www.GamBond.com) and CXO Europe (www.CXO.org)
Strategic Business | M&A | Board Advisor | Mobile | Gaming Gambling | Consultant | Entrepreneur | CXO |
Personal website: www.GarethWong.com
From Gareth's BlackBerry
CXO (cross industries): Hope to welcome you to next CXO lunches in Nov. (for CEOs of £3m+ profit firms and CFO/CTO/CIOs of £30m+ profit firms and deal makers of £3m+ deals etc.), see www.CXO.org for more details
Gambit (gaming focused): or at the next Gambit on mobile & iTV developments £50/person only, on 7th Nov (6-9pm), it will be far reaching and thought provoking again, register for our newsletter to be informed, we are also giving away a free ticket at the Emerging market summit 3-4Dec, signup at www.TheGambit.info/re/ for a chance to win.
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