CCK08: Working the Network
I imagine those folks standing in the middle of the detergent aisle at Shop Rite for the first time. And I think, “I know what that feels like.”
It’s email. And the internet. And cell phones. And cable TV. And iPods. We are swamped.
I remember when it was possible to be caught up with lesbian fiction. Seriously. It was the early eighties, there wasn’t that much of it, and I was in school, so I had time to read it. All of it. And then at some point, that was no longer possible. I had to start depending on other people’s reviews to get a sense of what I might want to read next. I needed a network.
In my work life, it was probably the NACAC listserv that brought the power of networks home to me. I don’t know how many members National Association for College Admission Counseling has, but the listserv is a high-traffic situation. Today I think my daily digest had 32 messages. Most of which weren’t anything I needed.
But. I sent along an answer to someone else’s question. I tweaked some content in the College Lists wiki.
If I ever DO need to tap into the experience of a large group of people who are thinking about the same kinds of academic matchmaking challenges I am, I know where to find them.
This is a bounded network. It’s comprised of folks whose membership is synonymous with their membership in a pre-defined group. The signal-to-noise ratio is pretty good.
What I see happening, down the line, is my filtering capabilities increasing dramatically, so that I’m able to tap into some less obvious, less formal, but no-less-helpful networks. Less and less about the needle in the haystack. More and more about tending to the nets and letting them do their thing. What do you think your future holds for you?