The biggest tool or method I have been using to network is Facebook Groups. This feature is perfect for keeping projects separate while still staying connected with the proper people. Also, it is a great way to keep your projects organized. By adding the people involved in each project you are able to open up a chat with only those involved. Sometimes we are busy and have multiple projects on the go, by using this feature you can simply sign into your professional Facebook page and see if there are any posts by your group members. It is easy to identify when someone is commenting and easy to reply and address issues.
When I was working at a Tech company in Ottawa, I used a program called Redline, which is a bug logging database. When I had an application that needed testing, I would create a project for each application and only assign access to those who were involved in each application. This way anyone involved in testing or creation of an application would be able to communicate and be recorded in one area. Testers could log bugs to the programmers with attached notes, programmers could then reply back when fixed or if they had questions. Each project I would link to their emails so this way they would be notified instantly if they had a message on the Redmine database. This tool was crucial for organization and networking on projects.
Networking in person is slightly different, mainly because you are face to face, no screens in-between. When networking in person I get a little nervous initially at first, but once the conversation starts I put out feelers for common interests and then build from there. I find quickly I am put at ease finding some common ground which helps for the foundation of a good conversation, from there the conversation can branch off into different directions, be it work related or not.
Over the next 6 to 12 months I will be networking at public events, being premieres of films I have worked on or friends in the industry. At these events I will be able to meet various people in the industry, network and hopefully make new contacts and friends. I also see myself working as a social media specialist at a company and running their social media presence. By using Facebook and Twitter I will be able to network with people with in the company as well as their clients or customers. I will be able to open up lines of communication internally and externally, bringing my employer needs and wants of their consumers.
We network day to day in person and online, which do you prefer?