I’ve always been interested in Mark Granovetter’s theory around the “Strength in Weak Ties.” In the 1970s he asked a group of people about how they had got their job. Of those who found jobs through personal contacts 55.6% reported seeing their contact occasionally (more than once a year, but less than twice a week) and 27.8% rarely (once a year or less). When asked whether a friend had told them about their current job, the most frequent answer was “not a friend, an acquaintance.”
I’m very much a weak tie man. I love serendipity – and I enjoy matching people up who have similar interests/objectives from all over the place. This week has been a joy for me – with my new found love of Twitter. It’s not the chatting that I like – it’s the opening up of a new world of people with similar interests/objectives to me. I’m enjoying creating the seeds of relationships at the very outer circles of my Personal Network.
Here are some examples of people who have appeared in the last 7 days who seem to share my passion for Personal Networks….
Jason Armishaw @jasonarmishaw from New Zealand. His business is the PeoplePeople. He also has a new business launching in 2011 – like me! I “discovered” Jason when he wrote a great blog piece “Is Off-line Networking Dead?”
Heather Townsend @joinedupnetwork from Milton Keynes, UK. She is the Author of the forthcoming book The FT Guide to Biz Networking. Her business is called JoinedUpNetworking. I came across Heather when she wrote a blog post called “When does a contact become a genuine connection?”
Jordi Robert-Ribes @jordi_pro is based in Andorra. His speciality seems to be Networking into New Worldsand is also an Investments Director. Again through Twitter, I found a very seasonal blog post “Christmas cards don’t nurture your network”
Jason Jacobsohn @JasonJacobsohn is over in Chicago. He’s definitely part of Malcolm Gladwell’s band of Connectors – and speak on networking. His company is called Networking Insight. The post that I found via Twitter was “9 Reasons why your Network is your Greatest Asset”. If you get the chance – head over there and add to the list!
There were a bunch of other people too – but these 4 stand out as understanding the Value of Personal Networks. Overall, a great first week on Twitter – and I’m very happy that my Personal Network is being enriched by these distant links.
Just wondering, how did you manage to find these people by their blog posts, and how do you search? Very interested because I’ve been using twitter for about a month now, but still find it hard to find people who share the same interests with me. Thanks!
All of the people and their posts were found via Twitter. I’ve been amazed – as I’ve been blogging on Personal Networks since July, researching heavily on-line … and not come across any of them before.
I either saw their posts Re-Twittered in my general feed – or I’ve set up some saved searches like “Connectors Gladwell”, “Network Value”, “Weak Ties Granovetter”, “Dunbar 150”. I check the searches occasionally – and have been a bit of a Twitter addict this week! I know there are tools around like Hootsuite to do some of these things – but just using basic Twitter home page (and a fair amount of time) at the moment.
Hope that helps? P
Thanks for the compliments!
Indeed weak ties are very important in any network.
Even more so, as Prof Gargiulo points out, a network without weak-ties can become a blinder. I posted about it a while back:
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your post. That video interview with Prof Martin Gargiulo at INSEAD is excellent. I’ve not heard such clarity in discussion of Personal Networks. Just off to try the questionnaire. P
Thanks Phil – it’s really great to hear that I stood out for you this week, and welcome to twitter.
You may find me tweeting more from my main twitter account http://www.twitter.com/heathertowns
Whilst I am a massive advocate of joined up networking – and my blog http://www.joinedupnetworking.com is starting to become one the best on line resources for anything to do with business networking. However, can I correct something from your post, my two businesses are The Efficiency Coach, & The Executive Village. You may like to look at my main blog – http://business-efficiency.theefficiencycoach.co.uk
Hi Heather. Wow – have subscribed to your other feed. Amazed how many ventures you are involved in – and writing books too. I suppose that’s why you are an efficiency coach. Have a great weekend – enjoy the snow. P
Hi Phil, thanks for mentioning me – you’re awesome! You may want to check out these resources if you enjoy learning about ‘weak links’
1) Superconnect: the power of Weak links http://ow.ly/3jYhZ
2) SIx degrees of separation video http://ow.ly/3jYie
Once again, appreciate the mention in your blog post.
Thanks for being such a good resource of Personal Network info. I’ve ordered that book from Amazon – and will be on my Christmas/New Year reading.
The Six Degrees BBC documentary is a really good find. I agreed with your commenter’s observation that “sharing in a network is beneficial to the individuals as well as the whole system – not to be selfish is in everyone’s interest” is a real thought provoking point.
If you like good BBC documentaries – try and get to watch BBC4 this week. The Joy of Stats – fascinating. Here is a preview on the BBC site – and if you are out of the UK it is on YouTube too.