Larry BraunerCommunication is the backbone of online networking.

In my post of November 11th I discussed the “High Tech/High Touch” concept, and on November 13th I discussed different forms of communication and “the asynchronous nature of social networking sites”.

According to the principle of “High Tech/High Touch” we need more rather than less intimate communication in these digital times.

Social networking sites present us with excellent tools to communicate asynchronously through commenting, messaging, posting bulletins and posting blogs.

There are new advances almost daily, but social networking sites still only partially address our need to relate more intimately in real time through synchronous channels such as instant messaging, telephony, video and face-to-face meetings.

To network more successfully, get more personal!

One thing that might hold you back is a concern for your personal security, especially if you’re a woman, and even more so if you’re a single woman. I will suggest several ways to mitigate this concern.

You could also be uncomfortable getting closer to a certain individual (hopefully not me LOL). Rely on your instincts and intuition. Exercise good judgment — but don’t be overly paranoid.

Here are my favorite ways to ensure a modicum of privacy while taking communication to the next level. They complement networking on any site.

  1. Get a headset with a microphone for US$20 or so, and download Skype to your computer. Skype lets you talk for free and anonymously to other users all over the world. It also permits small conference calls. With a headset both of your hands will be free to operate your computer or to take notes.
  2. Give out your cell phone number. You’ll enjoy the convenience of speaking anytime anywhere without revealing your full name or your address. Some disadvantages of using your cell phone are that you might incur cost and that you may receive annoying calls from time to time. You must decide for yourself whether it’s worth it.
  3. Get your own free conference number and PIN. You and your friend can call in at the same time to speak. If it’s your conference line, you can be sure that there’s no way to capture your phone number. The main down side here is that this protects you but not the other person.
  4. Install Trillian on your computer. Trillian lets you instant message people on Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and AIM all from one program. Instant messaging is not as good as talking, but it’s real time and interactive — definitely a step in the right direction.
  5. Starbucks anybody?

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15 Responses to “Get More Personal”

  1. Tim Southernwood on January 17th, 2008 5:28 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Great topic today, and you’re so very correct!

    In fact I might go a little further to say that if people aren’t communicating with other marketers, if they aren’t networking and strategizing with others, learning from others, and teaching others, they are really limiting their success.

    Personally I can’t imagine being without my Gmail chat (yes even Google has a chat program now, it’s simple and rudimentary, but still very accessible). Anywhere you can get online and login to your Gmail account, and you’re in touch.

    Skype is another one, but as a feature rich platform it’s quite powerful and the additional beauty is it’s cross platform. You can call landline telephones and for CHEAP! as well as talk to other skyper’s for free! You can run in video mode, voice and video, voice only, and text only. Yahoo messenger, MSN messenger are also quite useful and actually precursors to programs like Skype.

    I use conference rooms to gather larger groups from my membership site, and that is terrific in doing presentations etc.
    But Larry. Starbucks? You forget we Canadians have our Tim Horton’s (besides that name has a nice “ring” to it ;-)

    But if you insist, I’ll be down in Atlanta on Jan. 26th & 27th attending Keith Wellman & Gary Ambrose’s marketing conference with my lovely wife Patricia. (another VERY important method of how I slipped that one in?)

    My personal preference is in person and either over the phone or voice chat. Not only is it easier for me to converse (cuz I don’t have to hunt peck & backspace when I talk), but I am constantly multitasking and can talk as I’m doing other stuff, so I’m “leveraging” my time.

    So..Starbucks it is if you’re by any chance making your way down for the conference. If not, I’ll catch you on the phone or skype (you can have my id by request)

  2. Larry Brauner on January 17th, 2008 6:06 pm

    Thanks Tim for taking the time to post a great comment.

    In my post I omitted mention of two of my agendas: simplicity and ubiquity.

    These are both factors in my approach to problems.

    I don’t believe that I’ll be in Atlanta to see you, but the phone has worked and will work for us

  3. jenniferivy on January 17th, 2008 9:29 pm

    You are definitely right about needed more communication via the digital age.

    Sometimes I feel as if I don’t really know anyone I’ve met online.

    I’ve been thinking about getting a head set and Skype for awhile now, and I just joined a new business online so I think it would be a great asset for me.

    Thanks for the post, it was great!

  4. Elizabeth on January 18th, 2008 10:15 am

    Hi Larry!!:)
    Thanks so much for sharing with us your Beautiful Blog.It definitely helps us on the networking,specially with referrals and oftentimes,i get too careful from sending my personal information to some people from knowing more about me.I’m single parent and i thought i only need to be careful at times.But not to a point where i’m feeling symptom of a paranoia…i’m not.Skype is a good venue for meeting new friends specially the site is mostly for business conversations…at times we can be upfront no problem…no talks about spaming…unlike in the Social Interaction sites…but not with our Yuwie friends…all are good friends and accomodating ones.Like you, Larry:)
    Takecare & God Bless You

  5. tina stacy on January 20th, 2008 1:48 pm

    thanks for the great info

  6. Michael Aulia on February 18th, 2008 4:42 pm

    How about using a VOIP service and get your own DID number? You have your own number and it’s also cheap to call, like Skype (some plans are even free if you call to the same area where you’re at)

  7. Larry Brauner on February 18th, 2008 4:55 pm

    That’s a good idea Michael as long as the DID number is unpublished.

    I think the main issue here is one’s personal security rather than the cost of the call. People, especially women, and even more so single women, are afraid of being harassed or stalked.

  8. Jason on April 22nd, 2011 6:55 am

    Instant messaging have evolved quite a lot since you posted this. Forex example, you can now have voice and video calls in MSN messenger, so the need for multiple programs is slowly disappearing. Thanks for the tip about Trillian though..I wasn’t aware that such a program existed.

  9. Tom Hawkins on April 23rd, 2011 11:26 pm

    @Jason - While I agree with the evolution of technology lately, human nature at its core still remains the same… making Larry’s original point all the more important. High touch and intimate communication is all the more vital in a relatively impersonal medium like the Web. Tools to foster that intimacy will never go out of fashion.

  10. Roy on May 3rd, 2011 2:13 am

    Trillian was a great concept for those who use social networking [instant messaging] a lot.

    I have come to think recently that YouTube has been a vastly underestimated social networking resource as well as marketing resource. A person’s channel can give you a good idea of what they are like, especially if they include themselves in videos.

  11. Travelling Jim on May 15th, 2011 11:03 pm

    “To network more successfully, get more personal!”

    I definitely agree. This is also probably why social networking sites are used by nearly every business nowadays. The tips are really good. I use Trillian and Skype myself.

  12. Sandy on May 20th, 2011 8:04 am

    Hi Guys!! Online social networking, it will be very less even if you speak a lot about Online social networking. These days Social networking growing like anything, and google plays a major role in promoting these social network sites!! There are so many social network sites like Orkut, Facebook, LinkedIn, Hi5 e.t.c;

  13. Kay Stevens on June 9th, 2011 7:50 am

    I’m a huge fan of Skype and have done so much learning through webinars and video conferencing.

    Things are certainly changing, but I think that as long as we can change with the technology, it can help us lead better lives.

  14. Jenny's Braces on August 28th, 2011 6:57 am

    I agree with Roy about the value of ‘face presentation’ via YouTube networks, connects on a more personal level than any other.

  15. Peter Seers - Roof Shingles on September 4th, 2011 12:57 am

    I agree about the need for being ‘personal’ - but how does one guard personal privacy (such as from stalkers or those seeking to root out and personally harm individuals based on what they share on the Web)? There are so many unstable personalities ‘out there’ and it’s scary to decide how much to reveal and expose!

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