It’s defined as “the phenomenon whereby a service becomes more valuable as more people use it, thereby encouraging ever-increasing numbers of adopters.”
For example, the telephone wasn’t particularly valuable until several people you knew had one. Same thing with email.
Here are a few topics relative to networking, both online and off:
Good PR karma
Sign up for HARO if you’d like to receive notifications from reporters and bloggers regarding stories they are working on that you might be able to contribute to. On the flip side, if you are a reporter or blogger, use HARO to gain access to great sources.
If there were only 20 sources, HARO wouldn’t be worth much. But with over 23,000 sources and countless reporters and bloggers tapping this resource, it’s getting more and more valuable everyday.
Finally, group functionality for LinkedIn Groups
If you aren’t a member of LinkedIn, you should be. LinkedIn Groups has finally released an upgrade to its group features that includes discussion forums, a new management hub and a searchable member roster.
While some features aren’t as robust as other social networking sites, LinkedIn is the de facto social network for business so they are able to roll functionality like this a little more deliberately.
Check out the LinkedIn Responsible Marketing Group, now 472 members and growing daily.
Exchanging cards, the iPhone way
In a soon-to-be-released application from Tapulous, iPhone and iPod Touch owners will soon be able to swap virtual business cards by holding their iPhones together and mimicking a handshake with an application tentatively called Friend Book.
See it in action here:
I hate entering business cards into my contact manager, and scanning is always clumsy.
I hope this application (and others like it) gain wide adoption and this becomes the way to share your contact info.
As a marketer, my mind can’t help thinking about marketing applications for this technology, but I’ll save that for a different post.
So, how are you leveraging the network effect to grow your organization?
Comment below to weigh in.