Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

The Value of Networks

A few months ago I gave up on Facebook. My page is still there but I don’t update it any more since the only 4 “friends” I have probably already know what’s going on in my life. To be useful you would need a bigger network of friends but that seems to cheapen the notion of a friend and starts to get kinda creepy.

Anyway, John mentioned LinkedIn which I thought was still invitation-only. Anyway, I gave it a go. The idea seems a lot more reasonable than Facebook: connect to colleagues and old friends so that you can use these contacts when looking for a job, starting a business etc. I’ve already found an old friend from uni there but I’m terrible at maintaining these networks. My current tally of old friends I keep in contact with (~ once a year or so):

  • School: 1
  • Uni: 0
  • Bluewatch: 1
  • Broadcom: 2 (and I married one of them!)
  • MLE: 0
  • Uni of Southampton: 0
However, I can see that maintaining a LinkedIn network, which you only leverage occasionally, can be very valuable (see Granovetter, The Strength of Weak Ties) so this is something I’ll try to do more of in the future. LinkedIn seems like the sort of site you’d use a few times a year (instead of a few times a week/day for Facebook) which meshes better with the types of relationships you’re trying to cultivate. View Jamie Lawrence's profile on LinkedIn