28 June 2011

Harnessing the power of networks

June's TFPL Connect meeting was on the very relevant and useful subject of harnessing the power of networks so it's no surprise that the large room was packed.

We were treated to two complimentary but different talks on networking.

First up we heard the story of the UK Competitive Intelligence Forum (UK CIF) from Julia Hordle. This is a network for CI professionals that has grown from scratch over the last few years.

The two things that contributed to this successful growth were the policy of giving value before receiving and strong leadership. This may seem obvious but it was good to hear this from a real case study.

Jemima Gibbons followed up by giving five tips on how we can all make the best use of our own networks.
  1. Understand your own network by using tools like LinkedIn Maps or Facebook FriendWheel.
  2. Identify the key influencers in your subject areas by using things like Technorati, Klout and Peer Index.
  3. Share stuff, e.g. RT, comment on blogs and reply to tweets.
  4. Find your story, be clear about what you want to stay and why.
  5. Listen to what is going on (Google alerts, market sentiment, etc.) and join the conversation.
As with the first talk this was given with the authority of experience.

As always with TFPL Connect events, the conversations continued for quite a while continued eased by a little wine and I was able to have some good conversations with some regulars and also some new people. Business cards were swapped and LinkedIn connections made.

Because of the topic covered, the people covering it and the space allowed for other conversations this was an excellent evening and one of the best TFPL Connect events yet.

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