There are two faces to my networking strategy; my current profession (Royal Canadian Navy) and my hobby (golf instruction) which will become my retirement profession. It is difficult to have an online strategy for the first and difficult to have a current one for the latter. With some introspection it becomes clear that I actually do have one for both although they may not be as developed as they should be.
Current – Oddly enough I believe I am doing a considerable amount of online networking, despite my assertion in my opening remarks. While the majority of the networking is internal to the department it still remains and it is as part of a very large organization (Department of National Defence). The majority of my networking is through email distribution lists and MS Share Point. As the DND budget shrinks it has become more important to find ways to communicate at a distance, which includes the sharing of massive documents in preparation for virtual conferencing. In the past many of these conferences might have taken place in person and while some business did take place they might have been more of an opportunity for a group hug, what we now call in-person networking. The in-person networking is now reduced to much larger conferences where virtual is not practical. I try and attend many of these in my current field (occupation) within the department, and as a senior leader at these forums I usually have a speaking part and that provides me with a great opportunity to network in-person.
Future – There is little to no plan to change the current construct of networking in the my organisation except that as further budget cuts are forthcoming I would think that increasing the number of collaborative pages such as MS Share Point will grow. This may actually become unmanageable if you become a member on too many groups. At least locally we still have the chance to meet in small groups and get to know some of the folks on the same shared pages and it is always good to place a face to a name.
Current – There is very little in place at this point for my hobby; while I do have a blog and a Twitter account they are not a focus in my day-to-day life but usually more of an afterthought. I also have a Face Book page but that is not related to my future business (although I do have a golf group inside my page). The reason for the lack of focus on this portion of my networking efforts would have to be the impression that this business is still maybe 2 or 3 years into the future. The work I am doing in this certificate program is part of my networking effort as I grow my SM knowledge and practice these tools. The in-person networking has also been limited to my interaction on the course with other instructors and in the clubhouse with club managers (mostly at my club).
Future – In the next 6 to 12 months it is my plan to become much more active on my own blog page and provide at a minimum 2 post a month with a goal of a weekly post. Twitter is a bit of a conundrum for me as I do post regularly and re-tweet some interesting posts but I do not spend a great deal of time reading other tweets so that has to be part of the future plan. On both counts I am not too concerned about followers or who I might be following as these are my introductions to the SM world for this business and developing a style and content are more at the forefront. As to the in-person networking I do intend to participate in the Golf Expo this year and start making some connections beyond my current membership in the CGTF.