Good vs. Bad Networking Practices

I have been involved in a rather contentious "argument" (inbox messages ...) with a former Facebook connection who was offended by my comments about his promotional methods. It started when he wrote the following comments after my note: "One Woman Mission...A Music Industry That's Actually For Musicians"...

"Michele, I love your enthusiasm. "The Invisible Reality" is, there is a ,"Spiritual Disconnect", between God, and us, and what we are trying to do, not just in the Music Industry, but in Life! Isaiah 59:2, declares that our sins have separated us from our God. St. John 5:24 says, God is Spirit. This is why I use the term, "Invisible reality". God is that , " Invisible Reality", that is missing from our creativity. Back in the day, Quincy Jones said, when they were in the studio, and they got inspired, they would say, "God walked through the studio". We have left God out. Jesus, is a God of excellence. This is revealed in Creation, and in the Bible, that Jesus gave us. Jesus says, without Him we can do nothing ( St John:15:5 ). We need to find out if this is true or not! I am experiencing the Truth and Reality of this statement, in my life, and my music. Check out some of the songs and music Jesus has given me at: www.myspace.com/************** and the mission that Jesus has sent me on, and let's continue the conversation. Be Blessed!"

After another person responded to him and inquired about his profession, he commented again stating he didn't want to "disrespect my page" by posting more information about himself and suggested that they communicate more over an email.

When reading it, the fact that he plugged his myspace address at the end of his initial comments struck me as somewhat tacky and self-serving! But I didn't want to make too big a deal out of it, because I didn't feel he meant any harm by it, I just thought I would note the irony of his "respect" statement because he had already plugged himself in the previous comments. I thought he might laugh at himself a bit and consider the intentions of his writing.

Well, long story short, he was angered at the implication of my comments, stating that, "I am here for networking. Not to promote myself or my music." A statement, which seemed to be in direct contradiction to what he had just done....promoted himself!! He also stated, "What you imply or suggest is not funny to me!" Which meant he incriminated himself without my help! (You knew exactly what you were doing, dude!;))

Unfortunately our follow up discourse did not improve. (Mainly because he was using his religion to justify and defend his behavior.) But my purpose for making an example of him (besides the fact that he was very nasty to me...) is to talk about networking practices, especially online.

We see it all the time. Especially on websites like MySpace. People "friend" your page for the sole purpose of promoting their websites in your comments. They are not there to connect with you, network with you or even say "hello" in many cases. I know when I first got on MySpace, I was somewhat guilty of this. I wasn't randomly posting my website to people's pages...but I wasn't taking the time to build real connections with other musicians - which should be the point, right? Otherwise, for those of us using social networking as a promotional tool, what does all this "friend-ing" amount to after it's all said and done?

Social networking has the potential to truly connect us. But it can also potentially make us lazy when it comes to real human-to-human socializing. We can forget that the words that we write on a profile are being read by a live person - a person with emotions and character. A person who wants to feel like you're genuinely interested in them - not just trying to use them for their own personal gain. But that's exactly what gets translated when someone just posts a website on your personal profile (or even your band profile!)

As I told the aforementioned offender, wouldn't you rather someone be positively motivated to post and promote your website for you rather than you having to push it on them? Shouldn't your networking practices cultivate roots in your professional relationships and create opportunities for both parties? So why don't we treat online networking opportunities with the same discretion and judgment as we treat our "live" networking situation?

Besides the poor networking etiquette, all off this guy's religious postulations left me with other questions. My next post will be, "Your Word Against Jesus' - Has He Really Spoken To You Or Are You Just A Jerk?" (Just kidding....I don't have enough time to even write about that!)

Michele ThomasComment