The system we use in our networking group is different. It concentrates the act of learning about the people we work with to a new level in our networking efforts. It seems strange to me now that in the early years of my networking experience, we sought information about the business someone was in, and excluded personal commentary as a business faux pas, and encouraged our attendees to speak about business only.
Getting to know co-members on a personal level was a mystery. The attrition rate was huge, and I think for two primary reasons. One, it takes a certain personality make up to attract folks to a group that shares personal information. Those who feel uncomfortable with that see it as a distraction rather than an attractor. Once personal knowledge was shared over time, it could feel uncomfortable for some. What if they really see who I am! Two, it was a time factor. It took a much longer time to get results out of a group having the focus on work only. Trust and subsequently a comfortable place to send a referral took longer, and some folks didn’t have the patience. It still takes time, but less of it with the current system. Having a large turnover was good for the networking business as we had a generating system to match, but true long term building of a network is what we have now. It’s for the long term, attracts only cretin personality make ups, and works better than any other type of “mouse house” networking currently found all over the place.
When we started, we were alone, the only one in town, and in some ways, we still are.