A changing online World
Some of my social media colleagues often refer to web 2.0 explaining that:'..information = communication...'
That basic thought might seem appealing, to me it is not very accurate and effective. All in all there are 3 different Dimensions in online communication which relate to successful online networking represented by the web 1.0 - web 5.0 model underneath
:In general it is very Simple
Online networking is just like real life networking, the more personal you do it, the better results you get. It is not new, we know for hundreds of years that meeting someone in person gives you better results than just billboarding or sending out untargeted messages.
So the explanation underneath should come to you as no surprise, yet strangely enough we act very differently online. We still are in the phase where we rather send out email messages instead of having videoconferences online. We are still in the phase where untargeted broadcasting and quantities rules instead of targeted interaction. The good news is that this is changing. More and more people are accepting the internet as a quality interaction tool instead of a billboard for websites and harvesting email-addresses... First dimension websites; communication as a 'one way lane'
Publishing online information on a website in written words or by adding video and other material upon which you can react has nothing to do with quality communication. It is a 'one way lane' to which another person can react.
However about 99% of the websites you'll come across online are build upon this principle. Typical online behavior for you to view such websites is by Google-ing a few key-words, selecting your first page choice and quick scanning the chosen website content on the lookout for the information you want. Most of the time that process is grossly inaccurate and not effective. In only about 4-5% of the cases you'll find information upon which you will decide to react by sending an email or phoning a telephone number you found on that website.
This kind of 'communication' is very low- quality oriented, time intensive and it is reactive by nature. It has a time-lag each and every time and is very un-personal. Welcome to todays' internet!Second dimension websites; enabling direct interaction
'Web 2.0' is a technical term we can hear everywhere around us. It has more marketing purpose than academic value. To my students I always define web 2.0 as:'the ability of an online service to provide direct human interaction'
That still sounds a bit technical but what it means is a second dimension websites have tools for direct communication, such as Skype integration or instant messaging. In general you will be enabled to use your voice and react directly to the person you are communicating with. Typical networking behavior is targeted to a selected audience or even to a single person. You can be more 'human' on these websites although you are still missing one vital element in order to be successful in online strategies; 'be selective towards You'.
In general people don't know how and thus these websites are often also time consuming. Your effectiveness rating from second dimension interaction will increase however to about 15-20%.Third dimension websites; enabling YOU
During my early years as a consultant at Ernst & Young I worked with various communication models which intrigued me because they tried to explain human behavior and use that knowledge in daily interaction with clients.
A few years ago I tried to project those lessons in an online world but soon found out that online communication and networking has its own rules.
In real life we go to our clients and present our services and products at his office in a one-to-one or one-to-a-small-group engagement. 'Online' we suddenly have the ability to choose from (currently) 600 million profiles using the OpenNetworkers.info search tools. It gives us solutions to our query which we first have to narrow down. Our choices there are based upon key-words first and most of the time it remains based upon those key words but we sometimes can cluster them, grouping our query solutions. That helps a bit in finding a quick targeted solution.
However, most people and most websites are still 'communicating' according to a first dimension process on a first dimension website. The 'old' models are all 2 dimension interaction based and therefore all have an inherent mismatch with online reality and effectiveness.
Therefore, I made my own model: the OpenNetworkers.info Networking model (intellectual property protected, do not copy without permission):
The model is the basis on which online behavior and profiling can be recognized. In other words, if someone is writing something in a 1 dimensional fashion on a website because we are used to doing that, we still are enabled to recognize the writers' networking style by it. Using the model requires some training but if you are used to it it will come to you naturally, increasing your online networking effectiveness.
It will help you revealing which people you will be effective with and which people to pass by to your colleague. It opens up a totally new way of selecting your online partner based on what works for you, Being You
You can also use it as a tool to recognize your own networking style and to become more self-conscious. Sadly, there are a lot of management and marketing trainings around that try to convince us that anyone can influence any other person we meet (online or in real life). That is not how it works and what I always tell my students:'.. Be self-conscious of your networking style and choose your partners which who you want to do business carefully. It will take a little bit more time up front but it will do wonders to your effectiveness in your communication. You will notice that you will be more relaxed in your work and even come to a point of asking the question if you are following the right career-path. You will choose for yourself, enable yourself in a way that is very powerful because it started from self-consciousness..
'Examples, third dimension interaction companies arising
It is very interesting to me to see an increase towards more self-consciousness online. People are seeking many ways along that path using all sorts of strongholds to explore it; from individual spirituality to implementing new business models (top down approach to individuality).
An example of the latter is the 'Google model'. Google has introduced a company model in which they offer their employees a lot of space for individual development. It has paid off immensely, Google is seen as one of the great innovators of this time, creativity blossoms in this company because it has got rid of the rigid 20-th century company structures in which we felt that we had to 'control' everything and every process. Google e.g. gives its' employees one day in the week in which they can decide what to do for themselves, be at home, spend it with the family. 'Status' and 'control' has less importance, instead just doing what you 'want to do' not of what your 'should do' has importance, especially to you (and ultimately the company).
The Open Networkers what we do and why
For most people it is hard to comprehend what we are doing with the Open Networkers and why. With this Movement I want to introduce the networking model as a 3 dimensional system and alternative search- and selection tool. Not because of it's technical use, but as a means to bring people closer together. To start a process of self-consciousness where people will start to think about their profile first and their career choices second. Are you following a career or Leading it? Are you reacting to outside expectancies or are you creator of your own environment?
The ON networking model has proven it's effectiveness already and it is leading it's users to more self-conscious profiling and online behavior one step at the time even if they are not conscious of it yet. It is ironic in a way that the ON has started from a totally 1 dimensional contact forming process which is largely LinkedIn-based.
Seeing the in-effectiveness of LinkedIn and the behavior towards 'status' and profiling towards what we 'should' represent instead of who we 'really are' prompted me to start and build the Open Networkers Movement. It is also ironic that people know and misuse the term 'Open Networkers' as nothing more than a means to create larger, quantity oriented networks.
We go beyond that 'towards personal and professional interaction'. Knowing what really drives us, stimulating that and making the changes on a personal networking style bases to ourselves.
Before you know it you will not only be moving towards matching your ambitions with the right clients or candidates, you will enable Yourself!Follow the ON Masterclasses in order to be able to make effective use of the ON networking Model to achieve online ROI
If you have got a bit more time, you can also read the Open
Networkers book by clicking the image underneath: