Archives for posts with tag: contacts

I’ve been thinking a lot about networking, largely because I’m trying to get to know more folks in a new industry and in a new geography. Becoming familiar with a totally new universe of companies, trends, people, brands, and media sources is quite a task in and of itself. 

Without belaboring the point, I agree with the old axiom “It’s not what you know, its who you know.” My friend Greg put it this way “Networking is what you do constantly when you don’t need it, so it’s there when you do.” Networking is clearly the best way to get a new job, source new business, learn more about pretty much anything, and I’m beginning to suspect it probably helps the love life. 

Okay, so we all agree it’s important to do, but what’s difficult is actually doing it. It takes a LOT of energy and time. I’ve been to a few industry networking events recently, and he experience reminded me of middle school dances. A lot of awkward glances and smiles, some forced chitchat, and lots of cookies. You have to force yourself into conversations, meet people with whom you have potentially nothing in common, and hold a conversation for 5 minutes. Even if you suck, you’ll get a business card out of it, which you then have to connect to your linkedin/doostang/etc acct and email them to make nice. 

If you do it right, it’s not disingenuine and helps you get to know more folks in the right places. But its certainly hard work. 

So I’m not going to tell you networking events, linkedin.com, or just plain coldcalling is not necessary, because it is. However, I found a good way to keep contacts warm once you’ve made them. I use Google Reader occasionally to keep up on a few different periodicals I like, especially industry specific blogs and other random things I’m interested in. 

Google Reader is great with keyboard shortcuts (much like most GOOG products) and my favorite one is “e” which quickly lets you email something interesting to someone you know. I use it 4-5 times a session and work a little harder to email people I haven’t talked to in a while. The critical part is to keep the forward relevant to the recipient and to add a note indicating as much to them.

It takes about 30 seconds and the effect is to keep yourself in the forebrain of people you’ve met and help you sell, forge partnerships, and get jobs. Hope it works for you as well as it’s worked for me.

Okay, I got really excited by Google Sync for the Blackberry when they announced the new feature syncing not just your calendar with your device but also your contacts.

Happy day – I could now exist entirely on Google-Blackberry and they work well together (sort of). Except when I started using the app in my Blackberry, it started mangling my addresses.

I ended up finding a few fun things such as contacts duplicated 3-5 times, some contacts deleted, and my favorite, a contact’s address repeated 50-60 times in one entry. Other people also had this problem.

So now my contacts are all jacked up and the only way to deal with them is to go through every @!@$% contact (over 700 right now) and edit them to make sure they are all set. Also, editing contacts in the Gmail page is less than easy or fun to do. I’ve been looking into exporting everything to CSV, editing in Excel, and reimporting, but I think that still leaves all of my bad contacts intact.

Last complaint – Lots of my contacts are the same person but with two email addresses, however Gmail won’t let you have two different contacts with the same email address. This means you have to copy the email address and any other info, delete the second contact, and add the info to the first contact hoping you don’t lose it from the clipboard. A simple “combine contacts” feature would save a lot of hassle.

Come on, Gmail. You used to be so solid and made me want to get everyone onboard. Lets keep the innovation coming at a better pace than it has been.

Cute themes are a lot less important than contacts