Ford Harding outlines in his blog some of the advantages and limitations of sites like LinkedIn.com. I agree that these networking sites are a supplement, not a replacement, for other more traditional approaches and, to use a bad pun, link in these observations with my belief that your networking/marketing should connect your interests and passions with your clients.
In my case, I linked encounters with Linkedin.com to an article proposal for the SMPS Marketer. This led to my first phone conversation with Ford Harding, and the beginning of an ongoing relationship. It also caused SMPS Marketer editor Randy Pollock to invite me to participate on the Marketer's editorial committee, which led to more articles, more networking, and still more connections within the SMPS community.
So, in my case at least, Linkedin.com proved to be the door opener for several incredibly valuable relationships. But did anything come from online searches within Linkedin.com, through associations with the second or third degree networks. Nope, nada, zilch, none. So maybe the old ways indeed work the best.
For fun, here is my linkedin.com profile page.
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