Advantages of using social software for building your network

As regular readers know, we use a five-part framework for analyzing individual social networks.

Using that framework, we suggest five ways social software can increase dramatically the power of your network. (For exact definitions of the terms below, see the first chapter of the Five Keys to Building Business Relationships Online–free download.)

• Improving your Credibility: You can improve your character, and make the quality of your character more visible, by leveraging social software. You have the chance to help more people and more people have the chance to learn what sort of person you are. You can become more competent because you have access to the collective knowledge of far more people than ever before possible.

• You can meet the right, Relevant people who can support you in achieving your goals, and vice-versa…regardless of where in the world they are located.

• You can Strengthen all your ties by communicating more frequently and being of greater value to people. We all know people whom we rarely, if ever, see in person, but with whom we feel strongly connected because of email.

• You can increase the Number of relationships you have, by increasing your visibility and interaction with people around the world. Similarly, you become a latent tie for every other internet user. You have probably heard of “passive income”, i.e., streams of income that produce money with minimal additional effort on your part. The internet enables “passive relationship building”. People around the world can find your internet presence and contact you, even while you are asleep.

• Lastly, you can build a radically more Diverse network.