Managing your personal brand
5th November 2008
Safer Social Networking
7th November 2008
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Networking through Meetup.com

It's perhaps ironic that in a world where technology helps us to communicate faster and more directly with those around us, the same technology often sets up barriers that make us feel more isolated than ever before.

I recently discovered meetup.com, a site that allows you to connect with people with similar interests in your area. As soon as I saw it I was struck by the fact that you could just as easily use it to connect with people who share your passions while you’re travelling. And that’s exactly what I did.

I was planning a trip to the States, so I looked for social groups in the area that
shared some of my hobbies. I also saw the potential for business networking, and used it to
connect with someone who runs a group that might be interested in what I
do. I’m developing a new keynote, and it’s a great opportunity to try
it out on a new audience.

So I was pleased to see a post over at Brand-yourself.com that talks you through how to set yourself up on meetup.com and use it to expand your network.

It’s
perhaps ironic that in a world where technology helps us to communicate
faster and more directly with those around us, the same technology
often sets up barriers that make us feel more isolated than ever
before. Clients often complain that, with the ease of electronic
communication, they’ve lost many of the opportunities they used to have
for human contact – both at work and outside. It seems like computers
are depersonalising communication. If you think about social networking
tools like Myspace and Facebook, what do they really do? They make it
easier for us to update our network without having to contact them! In
fact, most social networking sites are about saving us the "hassle" of
having to meet or communicate with people in the real world. You have
something to celebrate? A few years ago you would have called your
friends to give them the news. These days you’re much more likely to
log onto Twitter and write a 100-character tag line about it. Got a new
job? Why go to the hassle of emailing your contacts, when you can just
update your LinkedIn profile and the system will let them know.

It’s
great to discover tools like meetup.com that redress the balance, and
use the power of the web to bring people together in the real world. So
thank you to the designers of meetup.com for re-humanising the world of
online networking.

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