Social Networking Class Guy

Social Networking Class Guy

Originally posted 2009-12-08 12:55:05.

Alright, the cat’s out of the bag. The bombardment of “training sessions” and classes where people actually *cough* charge money with the topic being “Twitter/Linkedin your way to success!!!1!” has to stop. It really does.

They completely remind me of the stupid Sunday morning infomercials with a guy rolling around on one of these things, fat one day and six-pack abs guy the next.  Completely unrealistic in the way that they set your expectations, and they prey upon your fear and your vanity.

So what? I am supposed to get a Linkedin account and then have an awesome business? I am supposed to post quotes from famous people on Twitter that I Google’d and then be rich? I am supposed to build a *cough* network of 3,000 people on Linkedin and be the coolest. guy. ever?

Really? No, seriously…really?

I understand alternative methods of networking, social networking, and the like and I highly recommend them to be used as part of your everyday life.   Well, except Twitter, but that’s another topic for another day…and I assure you that we’ll get to it.

No one has ever had the opportunity to be more connected than they are today, which is awesome to say the least. But do you really need to pay $20 to hear someone say, “When you meet someone, invite them to your Linkedin network and then you will be awesome!” or “If you mass text message about your business, you will build brand and more people will use your product/service. Thanks for coming, have a great rest of the afternoon…and…”

[wait for it]

“…now go network!

Every time I see one of these classes, I have the almost unavoidable urge to show up and heckle. I really do. It’s not my fault. The whole reason why ITintheD.com events are free is because we want to help people. We do. I know that sounds like a line of crap…mostly because the same people that are throwing those $20 classes say the same thing…and they seem mostly harmless…but so does Grimace.

That’s right – Grimace.

Sure does look cute, doesn’t he? All purple and friendly and happy.

But if you’re a pop culture fanatic like I am, then you know the real deal – Grimace isn’t friendly…he just has a stupid grin. A stupid grin that tries to hide the fact that his whole purpose in life is to steal milkshakes!

That’s right – steal milkshakes!

How much more evil can you get?  At least Hamburglar has the common decency to be up-front about it…I mean, you look at the guy, and you know he’s a thief…but Grimace? No, Grimace pretends to be Ronald’s friend…Mayor McCheese’s best buddy…but as soon as their backs are turned…BLAM! No more milkshake.

Remember…”grimace” also means “a painful expression on your face”

That’s what I think of, because I see someone looking to pocket twenty bucks from someone that probably really has a better use for those twenty bucks these days. You want to learn about networking? Read through our blogs and pay attention to what they’re really saying – yes, we use humor in a lot of our writing, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to the basic points. Come to one of our events and have us introduce you to people that can actually help you out. That’s what networking is all about…networking is a two-way street, it’s interactive. Networking isn’t sitting and listening to some schmuck talk about how a hiring manager at ABC Incorporated would just love it if you sent him one of the fruit baskets he sells along with your resume.

So the next time you see one of these:

I want you to remember this:

That’s all for this time, folks.

David Phillips is the geek that’s been pushed into management roles over the span of his career. He’s been a helpdesk jockey, a team lead, a systems architect and even a Vice President over the course of his more than 20 years in information technology for a variety of industries. He’s been profiled by CNN’s Money Magazine for his work with the group, as well as being a regular speaker for the Michigan Shifting Gears program, winning 2013’s “Outstanding Contributor for the Transformation of Careers and Lives”. The views and opinions expressed here are solely in his own, and relate to IT in the D only.

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