Are We "Linkedin," or actually Isolated?
With access to a vast assortment of New Media clients, including Social Network sites, it's easy to feel like you're connected to the world, while remaining essentially isolated. But those of us who live (and die) by word of mouth and referral know the value of human contact. My business got started because of someone who knew me - and appreciated my work - at my previous employer. He called me when he found I was no longer there. It was my first freelance job, and it started me down a business path centered around developing personal relationships -- a path that continues more than 25 years later.
Without becoming an active member of outside organizations that thrive on face to face, I would have never been able to build the multitude of valuable contacts I now have. Some are clients, some are referral sources, some are mentors, some are information providers, but most importantly, all of them I consider my friends. So, my advice? Keep using the Social Networks, but make sure you spend more of your time "face to face."