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Don,

Great points... reminds me of this...
Q: How do you identify a "newbie" or "noob" in the field of social  
network analysis?
A: They refer to the field as "social networkING analysis"

I wrote a long blog post on "building job networks" recently.  What I  
recommend to people is to re-activate their "true weak ties" -- those,  
usually dormant, ties they have with old friends, classmates,  
colleagues who are now occupying different social circles.  There is  
usually dormant trust in these ties -- these are people who actually  
don't mind putting themselves at risk to recommend you to their boss  
or colleague  [A brand new person you just met through "networking"  
will not do this for you].

The best way to build a network [see chinese proverb at beginning of  
my blog post] is to actually work with people, often volunteering,  
organizing a conference, etc.  "Networking", "schmoozing" and job  
fairs will NOT do it.  I have a friend I have been advising since she  
got laid off.  She has added ties to her network... it took about 1  
year to add these trusted ties, through regular contact [working on  
things together].  She is close to an offer, initiated and hopefully  
closed[references] through these new ties.  Blog post is here...

http://is.gd/Mv5i

Valdis


On Jun 2, 2009, at 2:20 PM, Don Steiny wrote:

> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Mario,
>
>   I have to comment on this (my inner demons are making me).  The  
> term "social capital" does not have a single meaning and Joel  
> Podolny ages ago in a class he taught at Stanford would say "if you  
> need to build a network to get something like a job, it is already  
> too late".  Likewise Wayne Baker makes this point as a central theme  
> of "Achieving Success Through Social Capital".  Mark Granovetter has  
> an amusing story which basically describes getting a birthday phone  
> call from someone you can barely remember, then it dawns on you "I'm  
> being networked."   I often see journal papers that talk of  
> "building social networks" and when people say that it usually seems  
> they are missing the point of social networks entirely.  I did some  
> research and as far as I can tell the term "networking" was invented  
> by feminists in the 80's.  They hoped to build "old girl" networks  
> to counter the "old boy" networks that created a glass ceiling and  
> to help with business success. In short, the idea of "networking" as  
> it is taught in "how to find a job or enhance your business"  
> seminars has been somewhat outside of the concept of social networks  
> until recently.  I assume this has a lot to do with the redefinition  
> of the term due to LinkedIn and so on.
>
> -Don

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