Social Networking: how helpful should you be?

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Original Message

From: Ian Thorpe, posted on 2010/07/13

Dear KM4Devers

I'm an occasional contributor to the discussions here. One thing that makes me reluctant to contribute more here (or on the Ning group) is that most times I contribute something, the contribution is followed by a number of personal e-mails requesting for help and advice and not infrequently requests for career advice or solicitations for work opportunities.

While I get a kick out of helping people (when I'm able), I also find this can be time consuming and isn't directly helping me with my own work - in fact it is taking away time where I could be contributing more to our organization's mission which I care a lot about. My job is quite demanding, and while networking through KM4Dev and other fora is also beneficial to my work and professional development - I also am concerned about getting the right balance.

So my basic question is how helpful should one be to these kind of requests?

I would be interested to hear from contributors here (if you have the time ;-) about your own experiences and any advice you might have on the right way to balance such requests for help (such as when and how you say "no")..

Someone I know recently started a paid (relatively inexpensive) newsletter for people seeking career advice because of the large number of requests she was receiving. That wouldn't be an option for me since I am a public servant - but I'd be interested to hear how other people have dealt with this issue.

Senior Information and Knowledge Manager, UNICEF, United States of America.


All replies in full are available in the discussion page. Contributions received with thanks from:

Ian Thorpe
Gopi Pradhan
Paul Mundy
Eva Schiffer
Mark Hammersley
Patrick Lambe

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