How valuable is contact data really?

An article in the national press here in the UK yesterday reminded me all too clearly that we live in an online world where identity is all too easily obtained.


I, like most, am bombarded by a huge number of emails, tweets, status updates, blogs (sic) etc etc daily and sometimes I sit and think 'how or why did I sign up for that or who traded access to my email address, or maybe per the article above, who stole that list!' However, when I look at the offending piece I am truly reminded that the content will determine what I ultimately think.


And that lesson is so important in the recruitment space because we are striving to 'engage' in all directions almost all of the time. Engagement is the new measurement of success in our social and professional networks. Do I really need 500+ contacts on my LinkedIn profile or should I focus on 100 to whom I can truly relate and who enjoy the content provided by status updates, tweets etc and who in turn trust my judgement?


I think we all know the answer to that one.


We are moving from a simply connected world to overlapping networks of engaged communities.


Views: 66

Comment by Jason Monastra on April 5, 2011 at 8:37am

Interesting perspective and no different than what we have had for years before the internet.  Think of the old comment - How many friends do you have?  A common high school question that determined popularity but think about it.  How many did you have?  Being an athlete and well regarded in my circle, my answer was always simple - I have few friends and a lot of acquaintances.


Has much changed or has it simply moved from in person networks to online ones.  The numbers are different but the behavior all the same.  Who do you trust, who do you engage, who is in your inner circle.  However in the digital world it is all to easy to get caught in the numbers since they are ever present.  Everyone keeps track of how many links, friends, comments, and tweets you make - like the volume makes the difference.  The difference is in the content.


But just like a high schooler, where do we flock?  We go right to the person with the most friends or the most points, the most comments or blogs.  Why - so we can be in with the people in the lead.  Are we that much different than the kids we once where?


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