It starts with Homophily, defined by Wikipedia as “love of the same”.
It is the tendency for us to group with others who are similar. It can apply to status, where people with similar social status associate with each other, or value, where we link with others because they think in a similar way.
You are probably part of such a group on a social networking site like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Homophily explains why social networking is so effective. Here’s how.
When people in our own group say something we tend to think that we already know about it, we already hold the values and status that the message represents. It is reassuring, but it’s not really news.
When people in our group pass on something that is happening in another group, it comes with a ready-made stamp of approval, so we tend to give it attention. It has our group connection, and with this, an implied group approval. It is therefore novel and safe, therefore we are more likely to pay attention.
This is why networking is so powerful for some people.
They have links to more than one group and they act as a conduit for ideas to flow between them. By sharing information across the group boundaries, they are the glue that holds a network together.
It is easy to take part in this. Simply share what you find interesting or useful; then when others pass it on you will start to receive interest and contacts from outside your own group. What you do with these new contacts is up to you. You could start by sharing this Blog with your own network.
About the Author: Adam Blackie is a professional Interim Manager who leads service delivery teams through their change programmes. He works with CEO’s and their Boards in the UK to change the way technology is used by staff and their customers.