Last summer, for two entire weeks, my Say It For You blog posts were focused on the concept of “learning around” and “reading around” for your blog. The gist of those posts was that it’s really hard to keep blog content writing fresh and engaging if you’re not continually learning from everything you read and everybody you meet. Meeting, of course, entails getting out and going places and – networking. And, while I certainly do my share of social networking online, right now what I want to talk about is old-style networking, you know, the kind where you actually go to meetings, shake hands, and exchange business cards, keeping your ears, eyes – and mind – open to learning new things.
I blame master blogger Seth Godin for my preoccupation with keeping score. (Godin issued a challenge at the beginning of the current year, asking “What did you ship in 2010?”, with “shipping” meaning accomplishment). Well, Seth, when it comes to “shipping” network meetings, by my count, I’ve attended no fewer than 43 so far this calendar year.
The point, of course, is not to accumulate networking belt notches, but to learn what’s goin’ on. What are people thinking? What’s the talk? What’s happening in different industries? Who’s a player? Who’s not but has interesting views on things? All those tidbits and threads find their way into sessions where I offer business blogging help, and into blog posts – those I write for my Say It For You blog and those where I’m an “invisible” freelance SEO writer helping drive online traffic for various client companies.