Twitter is a very powerful tool, for keeping yourself informed, and testing new ideas, and taking a global live view of what others are doing too.
Networking is as much about deselecting as much as selecting who one chooses to network with. It’s possible through dialogue to establish a degree of fit, which leads to a call, and who knows what’s next they are on your linked in group! I for one always make sure I know and trust who is on my linked in group although many seem to be collecting buddies cannon fodder like an “interims providers data base :)”. I guess that’s down to the personal way people use LinkedIn.
Linked in is used although vastly underused until these forums emerged. That said I am baffled as to what types contribute to forums, and would like to hear more from the “quieter members of the population” so as to take a more balanced view.
I think it’s primarily social as the for example the twitter process is 1. Know me, 2. Like me, 3. Follow me. Then you get the opportunity to inform thinking having established dialogue and some sort of relationship. Those that sell first always seem too visibly “crash and burn”.
In terms of cost it also means that you don’t have to jump in the car so often to kiss frogs, because you should be a few steps ahead already.
Key players in organisations interestingly can be accessed as a result directly rather than through gate keepers and marketing departments are becoming dismantled from departments providing direct access to their people.
This disruptive technology is providing the means of supporting distributed working, and supporting interims networking and business development efforts generally.
In terms of time, the 24 hrs / day nature of “social networking” is very bad for time management although something I find quite useful and live to keep you up to speed whilst travelling on the train. E.g. Twitter is like carving up a newspaper into the bits you wish to read.
For lateral thinkers, and those looking to refine their own thinking, and or develop a position of though leadership – a necessary evil id say.