Why (social) networks matter

A response to Alec Couros for use in his unkeynote address.

Networks matter because:

* You want to know.
You want to know what others are thinking, and doing, and writing about the topics of interest to you. This curiosity can be satisfied by searching around, but you can better see the threads when you’re in a network.

* You’re in the know.
You want to have people to bounce ideas off of, and you welcome input. You realize that your network isn’t about having close friends necessarily (though some may become close), but about sharing ideas and resources.

* You just know.
You know the people in your network, even if you’ve never met them. You know their ideas and some personal things and the stuff they make. This can inform your practice.

* You just never know.
You never know where your next idea will come from, or your next useful connection, or your next flash of insight. It might come from following someone’s link, or thinking about a Tweet, or looking at someone’s slidedeck.

* Who knows?
Your network can lead you to other people’s networks, where you can find even more people who are in the know. Anything can happen!