At that networking workshop we talked about sending "pings" -- little follow-ups to keep in touch with people in various ways. I didn't know it by that name, but it was something that I've always had trouble doing. "Hey, I saw this article on compensation and benefits and thought back to our conversation ..." or "I ran into this guy looking for x services and thought of you ..." Etc.
I'm a terrible "out of sight, out of mind" type. For that reason, Facebook has been a godsend. Unfortunately I use it almost exclusively for social purposes. I guess I also use it to keep up with acting people, but that's different from business -- for me at least. They're a fun and casual bunch, so I don't feel like I have to censor myself. If had business contacts on FB, I'd be reluctant to post a lot of the partisan political stuff and some of the "what was in that drink last night" stuff.
So I used LinkedIn for business, but it's just not as, to a use a cliched term, robust. It's more of a reference tool and a database or rolodex. Which requires me to be more thoughtful and strategic about it. Which I've been doing, to some success.
I contacted this guy who has a boutique agency I really admire. I'd been looking for a reason for a while and found one -- I'd just had a conversation with a mutual contact. And it just so happens a big client of his up in Milwaukee is looking for some employee communications help. So tomorrow I head up there with him for a capabilities presentation.
It's either the world's hugest coincidence or this networking stuff really does work once in a while.