Lost Dogs and LinkedIn — When Online Networking Works

SophiaI was recently reading two items that on the surface seem unrelated.  On Sunday, January 20th, the New York Post had an article of interest to every pet owner: “Lost dog found in Web: Wayward pet owners turn to new media.” The article relates stories of escaped dogs and their frantic New York City owners’ attempts to track them down.  One lost dog was deaf, so there was no point in even calling his name.  This is where  web sites and telephone apps come to the rescue. There are sites and apps whose only purpose is to send out lost pet alerts to people, shelters and vets in your neighborhood.

One woman joined a lost pet website as a last resort. Within an hour she started getting responses from people who had spotted her dog Twiggy on a specific street.  Then a woman phoned who had taken in the lost border collie overnight. Twiggy was back home  three hours after her owner joined the website.

The man with the deaf dog had already subscribed to a pet finder app, complete with picture and medical information. With one click of his phone app he was able to alert all the local shelters and vets in his area. Instead of spending precious time on the phone, he was able to go and find his dog — still only a block and a half from his home.  Networking resulted in happy reunions. If you want to know more about the specifics, you can read the article by clicking its title above.

After reading that article, I was looking through some books that had just come into the library. I ran across Dan Schawbel’s updated version of his book Me 2.0 and glanced through it. It has a new section specifically for job seekers.  He explains how building a strong profile and being active on sites like LinkedIn create a reputation over time.  People get to know you and your work.  With this type of online presence, it is a distinct possibility that jobs will find you.  It still takes a lot of work, but think of all those rejection e-mails you don’t get.  You can spend more of your time making connections on LinkedIn and less time worrying if your e-mailed resume or job application even got through to anyone in the first place.

So, what’s the connection? I like comparing networking for finding lost pets to finding a job.  Not only does it give me a nice excuse to get this information out to pet owners, but it is something most people can relate to. Whether you are looking for a lost pet or a new job, the Internet allows you better options for using one of your most limited resources — your time.

vea/2 March 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.


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