I asserted in Social and Business Networking Evolving that the integration of offline and online social and business networking, along with mobile technology, will dominate the social space for years to come.
Since business networking sites first appeared back in 2003, offline and online business networking have remained dichotomous. Generally, we’ve networked either offline or online. Business networking participants who wisely bridged the offline-online networking gap were in the small minority. However, all that is changing.
Those people doing their business networking online have been learning the importance of connecting offline for building trusting relationships. At the same time, people doing their business networking offline have been looking online for ways to nurture relationships once a business event or meeting is over.
Still a Long Way to Go
Nevertheless, although we’re headed in the right direction, we’re a long way from from overcoming skepticism and from seamlessly joining offline and online business networking.
If you and I meet online, we can communicate by phone or by Skype. This type of offline contact can greatly improve the quality of our interaction. Then, if we’re not too separated by distance, we can meet face-to-face. We can also stay in touch online. This is the approach I take.
However, if you and I meet offline, we might never connect online. Neither LinkedIn, Facebook nor any other social or business networking site is open enough or prevalent enough for us to easily follow up after an offline business networking event or meeting. One or both of us might never even go online nor see the merit in keeping in touch online except for the use of email.
I’m confident we’ll gradually close existing business networking technology and credibility gaps. While we’re waiting, why not subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment?
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