Thoughts on Networking, Part 1

I dislike the word networking. I dislike this word very, very much. I was telling an aquintance about a new project/biz I’m working on with a friend and his response was “I guess it pays to network.” Argh! Anyone who was online before 1996 might remember that before people were “networking” they were making friends, sharing, collaborating and just getting to know other humans around the globe and making connections. I could care less what sort of usefulness another human might provide through “networking.” In 2004, I’m starting to feel like this philosophy is in the minority. Now we have all these websites like Ryze, Orkut, Tribe and Friendster who presumably help us “network.” Most of the time they seem more like redundant popularity contests. How many times do we need to retype in the same blah blah blah?

I suppose this is a rant. ;) I need to come up with a better way to describe what I do when I get people together for events/gatherings/etc. Or can we reclaim the word networking so it means something other than “what can you do for me”?