A Simple Strategy For Building A Global Network Isn't About You. Your Plan Has To Make The Network A No-Brainer For Its Users -- Not Its Builder

Which one of these is a 'simple' strategy for building a global network of people who have a range of digital abilities: a pervasive, cohesive presence with many online doors -- or one room in graveyard of the web?

Which one of these is a ‘simple’ digital strategy (true story!) of an organization that aims to build a global network from a millions-strong list of women it’s loosely associated with:

  • a pervasive, cohesive presence across multiple social networking services, a community with free flow of information -- with windows into other related rooms of your peers and corridors you can go down if and when you are ready, willing, able, that is, when are you motivated and enabled to connect and pursue what appeals to you about this gathered community,
  • OR, one room on a service known for not-loving its group functionality, a service littered with the skeletons of well-intentioned groups, a room that is 'easy' to open?

When you find yourself looking for a simple strategy to connect all your important people so they can finally get off an inert list of names and start to build closer ties, so you can ambiently be aware of your peers on a consistent basis, so you all can see each other and learn what everyone is up to, so you recognize your commonalities and your opportunities to collaborate, and so you can TAKE ACTION on your shared goals using the cost-effective, labor-saving, reach-amplifying online communication tools available in 2013, ask yourself this.

Simple for whom?

Is your plan simple for you, the community builder? Or is it simple for the community waiting to happen?

Here's A Way To Ask For And Get Support For Personal & Pro Challenges, On An On-Going Basis

Graduates of my program are prepping to bring GlobalNiche's online presence & online community building methodology to their own worlds as servant leaders in peer-based workshops (like this group led by Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt starting in November). With this framework, in six weeks the network is connected and has a model to continue working together and a place to do so.

I've also been brainstorming the groups of people in my life I want to connect with more effectively. (You try it. Bet you can name three groups of people close to you that you want to see succeed.)

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My groups share a common thread.

We are peers and colleagues and friends and acquaintances -- and we are siloed in what we know, what we are trying to do,  how we do it, and with whom. We don't fully consider or know how to tap the resource we represent to each other.

That's what I'm proposing. A methodology to work in community on our own goals, with a stronger network as a result. A way we can all be cocreators of an effective network using the backbone of the social web. A way to ask for and get help and support for personal and professional challenges, on an on-going basis.

I see you.

You are people whose dreams I've been privy to, whose skills and talents I'm aware of, whose personal and professional pressures I know, whose untapped potential I recognize, and who I feel a commitment to helping put it all together to get where you want to go.

You're also people I would love to be better connected to, and who I'd like to connect better to fellow kindred spirits in my network. People you'd like to know. People who can help you and improve your life.


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Groups I'd like to be a servant leader to are:

1) people I've collaborated with professionally or been in peer work groups with, including writers and media pros and publishing world types.

Often coming out of traditional models and feeling the brunt of disruption, I understand your skepticism and why you are slow to adopt today's social web tools and ways of operating;

2) friends whose work and dreams I'm aware of but we've never really brought our full professional selves together to make things happen.

We can go beyond commiserating over coffee and silo-ing the personal and professional in our relationship;

3) people I have a history of interacting with intellectually in the long term, like fellow alumnae of my college;

4) acquaintances who ask me about what I do or how I do it, but don't imagine yourself doing it.

This would include my hairdresser who as an independent professional who moves from salon to salon could use the continuity and discoverability of an online portfolio. The young pilates instructor I met at the Wisdom 2.0 conference who could be establishing her practice with instruction videos online. The woman I met at a cocktail party recently who hadn't heard of local and online gatherings of people who share her cross-cultural experience;


5) people who have followed and appreciated my cultural work like Expat Harem the book and also the blog but don't see how it translates into GlobalNiche's social web training and online community building and personal brand building -- or why any of that is a way to help you live in the world the way you saw glimpses of in my cultural work.

People who haven't yet grasped that your cultural understandings, sensitivities, interests, experiences are assets and guidance you can use to live more fully with the help of social, mobile, and online tools and life. People who don’t yet see how your cultural understanding can help you on the internet, and in fact, give you an advantage online.

I see you, and I can envision what will emerge from our better connection. Don't wait for me to contact you. Reach out right now and let's get started.

Women Have To Reinvent Ourselves & Our Careers, We're Lifetime Learners With Fundamentally Different Outcomes: Sallie Krawcheck, Owner Of 85 Broads

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.22.10 PMPleased to meet Sallie Krawcheck at her fireside chat at Fenwick & West for the San Francisco branch of 85 Broads (a network of 30,000 trailblazing women in 130 countries) thanks to my friend, colleague and investor member in London Shefaly Yogendra. The feisty Southern Krawcheck -- once called "the most powerful woman on Wall Street" -- recently bought 85 Broads and came to talk to us about what the global network of pro women needs. She told us surveys showed that some members want financial advice, mentors and reverse mentors, while others want to invest in women.

Takeaways from Sallie's far-ranging interview with Shamini Dhana, president of the SF Branch of 85 Broads, included:

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  • Coming out of banking crisis it seems they've double-downed on white middle aged males
  • If you aren't on social media, research shows you look older & less tech savvy
  • Her first news of day comes from Twitter, it's a way to talk to the world
  • There's no career fairy godmother -- it's down to networking and sponsorship
  • Women have to reinvent ourselves, piecing together careers. We're lifelong learners w/fundamentally different outcomes
  • It's economically viable for women to start a biz today using tech & entrepreneurialismScreen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.16.43 PM
  • Diverse teams outperform more capable teams
  • Women outperform men without home runs and less flameouts
  • Choose a job in your 20s you think you can do in your 30s
  • #1 rule of business success is networking (that means loose connections and you need a ton of them)

Local members I met at the event include (listed by their Twitter handles) executive coach @Barbara Mark; Barbara Kamm, President of the Technology Credit Union@TechCu; Emily Hall @OGemilyhall, president of the Olive Grove which partners philanthropists, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders;  futurist, future of work visionary and woman after my own heart @ayeletb; user experience expert @MicheleMarut; advisor to the Turkish Prime Ministry's Investment & Promotion Agency Olivia Curran; and Sydney Alfonso, founder of @Etkie_Official, a venture to support women artisans around the world.

Want To Land A High Paying Job? The Go-To People In Your Network May Be Lowering Your Chances

Do you have more women than men friends at work? How about in the communities where you spend your free time?

All that women power could be hurting your chances when you’re looking for a job.


It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman -- if you’re relying on your social network to help you find work and your contacts are mostly female, research from Stanford University shows your odds are weaker.


It’s not because your girlfriends won’t help you.

They will, to the best of their ability. If you’re a woman, they’ll try even more than they’d assist a man. In fact, if you’re a woman, you probably consider the sisterhood your go-to team.

“Women are four times more likely to ask for help from a female contact,” says sociologist Lindsey Trimble, in this post by post-doc Christin Munsch at The Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Yet, if you want to expand your career opportunities, there’s a reason to start networking with more men.

It has to do with access and resources.

Your women friends can’t help you find a job they don’t know about, and they can’t hook you up with resources they don’t have.

For instance, how many of your female contacts are in high-paying positions of authority and power? It’s no secret women have been shut out of the sweeter employment situations due to gender and wage discrimination. Add to that a tendency women have to get corralled into particular occupations.

Women also may not be able to draw on same kind of the influential networks men have.

It gets worse. A woman’s referral seems to convert less often.

When you act on a job lead from a woman, Trimble’s recent study shows your chances of actually landing the position are lower.

Of 600 people Trimble surveyed in Washington State, all the job seekers  -- men AND women -- were most likely to receive an offer when they networked with a man.

Trimble is a member of The Clayman Institute’s working group on Redesigning and Redefining Work.


Keynote Speaking At Women Inspire Tech San Francisco

Women Inspire Tech San Francisco April 2013 Was pleased to speak tonight about my career arc to the young professional members of Women Inspire Tech's San Francisco branch at the offices of BBD&O.

Turns out when you've got as many twists and turns as I have you end up saying things like "and then I moved to the other side of the world, and let's fast forward through five years of freelance writing and producing in tropical Asia, and then I was back and couch surfing in California til the snow melted in New York. Then I got an editorship at an Internet magazine even though I'd come from a technological backwater. What I did know is that the Internet can help you survive being isolated."


If there's something you want to do that's not in your job description, do it anyway. Then at least you get the experience and can build on what you learn.


Also, if you get laid off, don't take it personally even if it may be to some extent. There are always bigger picture issues at play and you really can't afford to get wrapped up in why you've been asked to leave the tribe when what you really need to do is locate (or create!) a tribe that wants you *badly*.

A smart programmer told me about a program she built for sharing small diary-like snippets of her world flung, post-Harvard, scrappy life and times with a friend, how she's used it for three years and finds it so helpful for her emotional well-being and how everyone tells her they don't understand the concept and it's not strong enough to pursue.

"What do you think?" she asked me. "Do I have something?"

I don't know if she has something for others.

But I do know she created something for a need she had, and when new options became available (and pervasive worldwide, like Facebook and Twitter) she has continued to use her own solution and it works the way she needs it to.

I believe in her. If she wants to develop it further, she's the best person to do it.


Do you know a woman in tech in San Francisco? Let her know about this free networking & leadership group founded by talent recruiter Tiffany Roesler, who modeled her talent scoutingp prowess when she located me on LinkedIn and reached out to me to join her group.

A Facebook Connection is Not An Email Subscription

A very sweet email I received from a new connection included these lines: "I wanted to let you know that you're receiving this email because I lovingly friended you via Facebook and was hoping you wouldn't mind if I occasionally sent you what I was up to. If not, it's totally cool, you're welcome to unsubscribe below and my feelings won't be hurt one bit."

I'm glad I'm not going to be hurting someone's feelings if I choose to stop receiving something I never asked to receive and didn't know existed.


Unfortunately, sending me email I must to choose to stop receiving amounts to an automatic email subscription when the current standard for list subscription is the double opt-in.

The added twist of piling a list subscription onto a Facebook connection muddies the water even further.

Maybe I just wanted to connect in an ambient way.

Maybe I use Facebook and other social media services as my new contact book. (That's exactly what I do!)

Maybe I don't know yet if I want to receive news from you in my in-box, the most intimate of social medias.

Give me a chance to figure it out without making me reject you first.

What might work better: posting about the list existence on Facebook, where I can see it and decide to take action.

Even better:

Post on Facebook things I'm going to want to know more about. Things I'm going to start wanting to be sure I don't miss. Then I'm primed to get on your list, and I will.

How Do You Support The People In Your Network?

That was a question posted by small business marketing coach Stephanie Ward, at the GlobalNiche LinkedIn group. She suggested 5 ways. Here's my answer:

I like to share job leads and pass on assignments I'm offered but can't personally pursue.


Also, when people approach me to collaborate somehow and I'm unable to I usually suggest an alternative for them -- whether it's access to my audience, or an intro to someone else I know who might jump at their offer. It feels like flow -- things come to me, they're right for someone else, I try to make that connection.

Stephanie also asked how we introduce ourselves to a group. (Here are mistakes she notes.)

My response:

It depends on what group you're introducing yourself to: Emphasis may be different, type of info required may differ. You may use jargon if it's an industry event, or simplify how you describe your work if you're at a more general networking affair -- or make an analogy. One intro does not fit all.

Stephanie says, " It's always smart to tailor your introduction to the crowd and event."

Stephanie also asked what we do to follow up after a networking event. "Networking is about building relationships over time."

My reply:

After a networking event, I find the people I met on multiple social media platforms, and toss their business card. If we talked about stuff in particular I send them leads and links, and introductions. Then we keep in touch *ambiently* ....

Stephanie says, "It's smart to reach out across platforms."