Just An Online Minute... Networking Online Link By Link
LinkedIn has an elegant and easy-to-use interface, smooth navigation, and offered a comprehensive listing of some 30 people who were already in my contact's network. There, I saw people I knew, some I'd heard of, and others I was intrigued by. If I want to contact someone on the network, I'm told how many degrees they are from my contact and that my messages will go through her.
I like the idea of online professional networking but the in-person thing is, to my mind, the most effective tool. Managing the online query flow and communications often becomes a job in and of itself.
Still, sites like LinkedIn are great facilitators. They bring people together and get the idea flow going. I don't see any advertising on LinkedIn, but can it be very far behind? San Francisco-based Tribe.net is developing advertising partnerships with its newspaper company investors. Classified listings, local directories, and search-related functions are no-brainers on networks like Tribe.