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Non-Virtual Social Networking

LinkedIn for the Real World

I recently got a call from a client (read: friend I have been doing some web and design work for) about a friend of his that could use some design help. I gladly agreed. I am excited, I have never redesigned a menu before.

We went to the restaurant yesterday so that I could meet the owner, see the old menu, eat the food and get a general impression. All of these factors being rather important for a menu redesign. It is one of those small town joints frequented by the locals serving delicious comfort food. I had country fried steak with collards and sweet potato casserole. The people were friendly and the owner, relaxed. His only design parameter: make it different than it is now.

What struck me, as we were driving back to my client’s office, was how this experience is what LinkedIn tries to recreate online. You connect with people you know and leverage their connections to network with people they know. It extrapolates the local networking experience to the international level by utilizing the power of the internet. My client’s friend had a need and my client was confident enough in my abilities to recommend me. He has staked his reputation on his belief in me.

As I thought about this networking experience more I had another, much more sobering thought: the job search I am in the midst of is the first time I have not gotten a job almost solely through networking and connections. Great.



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