Second Wave of Social Media, part 6 – The gap between dreams and reality

People have dreams when starting with professional social networking. There is one common dream most networkers do not speak about, but it can be easily read from their activity.

We could formulate it like this: “When I have 1000 (5000) connections, everything will change! I will use my network to take my professional life to the next level.”

Doesn’t matter if your goal is to sell something, to find new clients or get a new job. Your dream is to get connected to as many people as possible, to be able to fill your goals using power of your network.

And here we go. You have reached 1000 connections in your network; drank a bottle of Champagne on that breaking day, and fell asleep with the sweet feeling that tomorrow your gona change your life...

But, when you wake up a bit, everything seems to be the same, except of the fact you have more worthless emails in your mailbox to delete every day. Why it is possible, you keep asking yourself.

So you go, attend several worthless webinars about “using the power of LinkedIn” or about “Monetizing your Ecademy network”, some for free some for money, all of them worthless. You also probably read few e-books about this topic, or even travel to conference covering the topic.

But somehow you can not monetize your network, and somehow you can not find that power in it. Somehow you can not find there what everyone speaks about. Is it your mistake? Should you attend more webinars? Lol, just do not do so!

So what is the reason?

First of all, there is one very important thing you have to realize: 99% of the people you are connected to dream the same dream as you do. They also want to fill their dreams using their networks. What means – get deals, sell their product, etc.

So, at one side, there are many people who want to sell, who want to get deals, who want to get new members to their portals, who want to recruit… And on the other side, there shall be people who want to buy, to
become members, to give deals. But do not be silly, these people are not on LinkedIn, Ecademy, etc.

Why? Answer is very simple again. We live in a world packed with businesses of all kind. If someone has money and want to invest them, or wants to become a member of something, or need for example web development services, he could find them anywhere.

What more, they are finding him. On every banner, every day in his mailbox, or as millions of links in Google search results.

Can you see any reason why he shall go and build networks? It’s just not effective for him, he does not need it at all. It’s worthless for him.

On the First Wave of professional social networking sites, everyone wants to sell, but nobody is
there to buy…

Some people (maybe also YOU reading this article) dream about recruiting from their network. How could it be possible not to find a great talent within your 5000 direct connections and millions of contacts in your second layer?

I tell you how. At first, there is a very inappropriate ratio of recruiters within open networkers. For example, in my network, 35% people classify themselves as recruiters/HR, and there are like 20% more hidden recruiters. Yes, those are the people who classify themselves within healthcare industry, and are in fact recruiting for healthcare industry, etc. Recruiter can hardly recruit a recruiter.

The other reason why you can not fill your dream here is similar to the one why you can not sell your product/find real clients on LinkedIn.

The real talents do not need to network openly. They do not need 1000 connections. Recruiters are finding them all the time, their phone keeps ringing when they are unemployed. They have 10 offers in a moment of leaving a college. Why would they try to build a network, or even spend their time with professional social
networking? It’s worthless for them. You can find them maybe on FB, but do not try to search for them on LI.

Do not take me wrong. There are specific ways how to recruit using social media. And how to do so in a very effective way. But, do not look for the common ways people speak about all the time. They lead nowhere. You must be unique!

There is a certain group of people, including a part of pioneers who once started building professional social networking sites of all kinds and sizes, which believed that people can share knowledge and discuss different topics within their specialization on these sites.

But very soon the discussions were overfilled with people doing self- advertisement, or just joining to have a chance to connect to more people. And, real discussions suddenly get lost in a bunch of worthless messages.

We have here such hype around professional social networking, that still too many people believe in these dreams described above, and simply too many new start to believe in them constantly.

But in fact, the first wave of professional social networking will make neither their, nor your dreams come true.

The Second Wave of professional social networking will be very different. There will not be a possibility to connect with everyone, there will not be a possibility to join discussions for everyone. There will not be a possibility to join the site for free. There will be strong semantic in every part of the site… that’s how it will be.

And believe me, it is very close, just few more alarm clocks have to ring.

In conclusion, stop dreaming, and start living. Stop
spending your time on increasing your professional network. Open the Champagne today – do not wait until you’ll have 1000 connections, because nothing will change.

Do not believe to what everyone says. 95% of people never reach real success in their lives. The
opinion of the majority is the opinion of the unsuccessful...

I wish you good luck in searching your own unique way to success in the area of social media.

More about Second Wave of social media you can read in the next articles of this series.

All articles are published at my blog on our website, and also at my blog on

I will be glad to hear your opinion on discussed topics and I believe we together can think over The Second Wave of social media.

To not miss any article, you can subscribe to RSS channel of this blog. I'll be also happy if you let anybody know about this article.

Views: 158

Comment by Thyaga on June 30, 2010 at 11:28am
Nice. Hope everyone understands these basic facts and stop relying (waste of time) too much on social networking sites for business. I would suggest.. LinkedIn to go IPO before these kind of news hit the street.
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on July 3, 2010 at 8:56pm
I agree that social media can be the sink hole of time, and choose to avoid the so called "social media experts" that are cropping up like weeds. Everyone suddenly has a crystal ball and imakes grandiose pronouncements about the future. The only thing we can be sure of is that things will change, and there is a 'second wave' coming - although I suggest that social media is the second wave of what we used to call Web 2.0 a couple years ago.

The reality is social media is not a "magic bullet" -- once you reach a critical mass of contacts, followers, and otherwise ridiculously high number of "friends"it will not change your life or instantly line your pockets with cash or make all your dreams come true.

Yet in spite of the excessive & rampant self promotion of most bloggers, I don't agree that everyone is here to sell, and no buyers. Many people, like me & you for example, are not here to buy or sell, but to LEARN and SHARE what we've learned.

The new media is simply ANOTHER MEDIA, nothing more & nothing less. And like all media must be incorporated into the appropriate mix, and aligned with overall recruiting (or marketing) strategy to achieve the desired results.

Social media is an evolving phenomenon; I'm sure it will change in unexpected ways, and it will be interesting to see where it goes.
Comment by Matej Valuch on July 4, 2010 at 7:49am
@Thyaqa - Yeah, I also think that they will go IPO, although they keep telling they will not :). My bet is Q1 2011 for it to happen. Someone will make really good money, anyway, so well done LI guys, just do not wait too long!

@Sylvia: Dear Sylvia, although you might be a bright exception in a crowd, one swallow does not make a summer :).
To be honest to you and everyone else - I am not active on any social network to share knowledge. I have a plan with a final aim to "sell" in a specific way, and this article is just a part of the puzzle so my goal can be achieved.

In fact, if you are honest to yourself, than you will admit that the main reason why you present your opinions here is to "sell" yourself as a professional in a particular area. Or am I wrong? Sometimes it is not bed to have a look behind the corner...

Good luck, and keep it real.
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on July 6, 2010 at 7:38pm
In the interests of keeping it real, sharing knowledge & learning does lead to making connections which leads to sales. You can call that my plan to sell in a specific way -- that is accurate, and yes I have a strategy in my choice of networking connections & reaching out to contacts DIRECTLY. You could also say social networking is currently my second best source of leads & referrals.

I've been involved in online communities since the early 90's (ie yahoo groups & other newsgroups); social media is simply the evolution of that. I agree that it's an opportunity to showcase yourself as a professional or expertl, but it's no different in participating in local community or business associations such as the Chamber of Commerce or SHRM. It's who you know that gets you ahead, whether you're selling a product or advancing your career.

May all your dreams come true. Aloha!


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