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Networking: Weaving a wider web

Last week I attended the ad jamboree at Jaipur where I discovered that networking is not a bad word after all. At AdAsia 2003, the fine art of networking was elevated to a new level, writes Sanjay Trehan.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2003 02:18 IST

Last week I attended the ad jamboree at Jaipur where I discovered that networking is not a bad word after all. At AdAsia 2003, the fine art of networking was elevated to a new level. Mirroring the real world, social networking websites are also in news in the wired world. Two of the fastest growing sites, Friendster and LinkedIn made news recently as they received venture capital funding even while we are still figuring out the business model for social and professional networking websites.

Log on to www.friendster.com and discover an online community that connects people through networks of friends for dating or simply making new contacts. You may ask how is it different from other online dating services.

Traditional dating sites search through a large number of anonymous profiles, while Friendster throws up searches of only your friends and their friends. Your picture and profile will be shown only to people in your personal network and you will send and receive messages only from people connected to you through a series of mutual friends. Christian, 32, single, from San Francisco, who has been a member since May 2002, says: “We all know that meeting people out in the wild is a risky proposition. With Friendster, you meet people through people that you already know and trust.”

I remember having discovered an equally fascinating website in the early days of Internet, called SixDegrees.com. The site believed that everybody on the Earth is separated from anyone else by no more than six degrees of separation. When I recently visited it, it had moved to http://aries.mos.org/sixdegrees. Check it out and become a part of this unique online experiment.

Punch in www.linkedin.com in your browser window and you may learn that ‘your network is bigger than you think.’ The proposition is simple: ‘find the people you need through the people you trust.’ LinkedIn is aimed at professionals. Here, your trusted friends and colleagues can help put you in touch with the right people. You may even find jobs, locate employees and close deals faster and more reliably than ever before, promises the site.

Let’s take a look at another site in the same genre, www.tribe.net. This is a fascinating community of people who share likeminded interests ranging from looking for books and old movies to parenting and erotica. You can connect with your school friends, co-workers and join and create tribes around your interest. The listings on the website include events, parties, soap box, jobs, bikes, roommates, casual encounters, housing, hot deals, etc.

In a world where the Internet is increasingly fashioning a global village, social networking websites are helping a wider circle of people come together faster. Most of these websites offer free admission and the security and comfort of networking with trusted friends and colleagues. No wonder, these websites are showcasing the Internet’s scale and reach by taking interaction to the next level.

Carry on surfing!

First Published: Nov 22, 2003 01:23 IST