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[Tutorial] How to create an effective profile for great online networking

How can you get any concrete benefit from being part of our Community? Some of our members changed careers, got fellowships, were nominated to the MAG, became speakers in conferences and others organized successful events... How does one accomplish all that? What's the secret?

Networking.

And to have effective networking, the first step is to improve your profile so people who do not know you yet will feel compelled to say hello and start an exchange.

A boring, zero-results profile:
- does not have any photo
- does not say anything about you:
-- Where do you live? Africa? Asia?
-- What are your fields of interest? Are you a cybersecurity expert or you are more into open source? Or child protection?
- looks ¨corporate-formal-serious-and-cold¨ and does not convey you as a human being, so it is more difficult to set rapport in the communication
- does not give any reason why people should connect to you

An interesting (thus effective) profile tells something about your current interests, and explains why people should get in touch.

For example, you may say something like:

¨I was born in Hyderabad, India and have just moved to California, where I'm working as a software engineer for ACME, a company who develops online game security solutions so players around the world cannot cheat on the point system.

Since encryption and security are my fields of passion, I'd love to share articles and news with you on these subjects. In fact, I might be interested in volunteer for projects that you may have on online security. Just send me a message if you need a hand (or two!)¨*

What do you think?

The idea of volunteering for projects is recommended by many business experts. Keith Ferrazzi, author of the bestseller ¨Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time¨ defends that volunteering is the best way to meet new people.


Keith Ferrazzi: How do I start networking?
Get active in projects and fields that will lead you to the career that you want, and will train the skills that you find relevant.

This will lead you to interact and have a stronger network of people to inspire, help and grow with you.

Share your passions!

Steps to action

1. Click on http://www.diplointernetgovernance.org/profiles and ask yourself: - is this an effective profile... or a boring profile? In case you want to improve it, just click ¨edit your profile¨ and tell us what you are interested in, giving a more personal touch to it - share your passion!

2. Find some colleagues who are interested in the same areas, or located close to your region, or whom you shared discussions during the Internet governance capacity building programme (IGCBP) and add them as a friend, leaving a message.

*(As advanced steps, you may even create a Blog post, initiate a Forum discussion and create a Group for these purposes. We may explore these options later)

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Comment by Carolina Rossini on May 7, 2009 at 4:02pm
Thank you, Se! This is great! I would just add that we also need not just to work in our contacts, but in the quality of the work we performer and results. Sometimes, depending on the culture we are, these speak for you. I am not saying that these are the only thing, of course....but these can be part of your "business card" when contacting people. The skill I think it is important to be developed is the ability to balance both. If you have clear good work to show, you do not need to be shy! You can be secure enough to be at the table! :-)
Comment by Kwasi Opare on May 7, 2009 at 12:19pm
That's quite insightful. I am going to enhance my profile... right now.

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