I remember hungrily searching for a group of like minded women when I was in college. A professor mentioned the professional association Women in Communications and I wrote it down. I couldn't wait to get home to check it out. I went home after class and looked in the phone book and called.
I did what? Yeah, it was a long time ago and there was no Facebook Fan Page.
I called and spoke with the Philly chapter president who told me there were student memberships and I was welcome to come to a meeting. I not only went to a meeting, I thrived in that group, became the minority chairperson(we didn't have minority members so I volunteered)and went on to organize the first seminar in the City on marketing to Hispanics. We had to walk 3 miles in the snow to get to that meeting (J/K).
I don't think we used the word networking at that time yet but it's what we did. We had meetings at which we organized events at which we socialized after the speakers spoke and exchanged business cards. It's coming back now, they were business card exchanges. You could read about other people in other chapters in the newsletter that came out quarterly. If you were able to afford it or the company you worked for would pay for it (not likely) you could go to a conference and actually meet other members. Otherwise, you kind of just existed in a silo guessing what others were doing across the country and waiting for industry magazines to come out every month, unless you were a big letter writer with pen pals.
Today I'm tickled pink that I can go on over to Recruitingblogs to see what the Top 100 Influencers are up to, hop into a chat and comment on the opinions of my colleagues. I'm as pleased as punch to be able to board the information autobahn Twitter, where the collective conscience of people I follow, because I want to hear what they have to say, teach me more in one day than I ever learned at the U.
It's now possible to meet anyone you want without paying the long distance call or the airline ticket. Even as a confirmed introvert I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk to people in person. There's no way I would ever be able toknow most of the incredible people I have been able to meet through social networking.
We throw zingers across continents, exchange ideas in chat boxes, read each other's articles as soon as the publish button is clicked and gather virtuallyat webinarsand in each other's feeds.
You're here, and I know I'm probably preaching to the choir but I just have to say it. I love my global band ofbrothers & sisters.