But seeking out people to connect to seems both unnecessary and counterproductive:
Unnecessary, because other people will find me, regardless of whether I spend time looking for them. Counterproductive, because the people I have to search for did not initially search for me because (1) they are not highly networked people or (2) they are not interested in me; either way, they will waste space in my contact database. Granted, by using this low-maintenance method of networking I will probably miss a few gems. There are some really useful contacts out there that I will never connect with, but the amount of work necessary to find them does not justify the likely benefit of finding them. In reality, I am a critic of conventional business networking (see my prior posts on the topic). Interestingly, though, people who make little or no effort to network (as described above) can still end up with a sizable collection of social networking links. The real key to networking is not remembering names – it is being remembered. If you do well at whatever you do, change organizations (employers, clubs, church congregations, etc.) every once in a while, and respond positively to others’ invitations to connect, then you will always have a good collection of useful links to others.