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Tangent on business: networking groups?

I have tried two different groups for networking: a chamber of commerce "business lead exchange" meeting (similar to BNI meetings but less formality); and Toastmaster's.

What has spoiled it for me mildly in both circumstances is the amount of sheer ego and braggadocio that it seems to take to become visible in these kinds of environments.

The Toastmaster club I once belonged to had three guys who knew each who were "advanced" speakers and who seemed to dominate the meetings. The chamber feels the same way. You're either an Alpha Male or you're an annoying non-entity.

Has anyone found networking groups for general business that don't suck, and that don't seem to exist just to prop up the ego of a small clique? I'm toying with civic service clubs as a possibility...

Bored Bystander
Saturday, May 15, 2004

"who knew each" --> "who knew each other from work"

Bored Bystander
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Try a 2600 meeting: http://www.2600.com/meetings

Essex
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Yeah, no ego whatsoever at 2600 meetings. [grin]

You might also check out local users' groups, professional associations, or even "networking events" at local businesses. If there's a university near you, see if there are any evening classes you'd like to take where you might also get some networking done (this one's less likely to pay off, but if you want to take the class anyway, no harm done)

Philo

Philo
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Kill two birds with one stone and join a sporting club :-)
Seriously.

Motown (AU)
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Any group of people you're a member of can provide referrals but as in most things its probably useful to treat it as an exercise in karma, or tithing.  Offer before you expect to receive and offer in the quietest way.

And by offer I don't mean handout leaflets offering 20% discount on network management to the group.  I mean talk to them about your contacts and get them referrals.

Simon Lucy
Sunday, May 16, 2004

BB, you're in Cincy area right? What about the Circuit?  That used to get a wide variety of folks interested in technology from a variety of perspectives.

If you're on Orkut, that would also be a good question to pose to the Cincinnati community.  I'd be interested in hearing what you find out.

dir at badblue com
Sunday, May 16, 2004

I use LinkdIn, it's good place to find contacts. I established Java user group in 2000 (member of Top 25 JUG by Sun) and use it too.

Evgeny Gesin /Javadesk.com/
Sunday, May 16, 2004

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