I saw an article (it went behind a paywall when I tried to look at it again) about networking in the absence of in-person networking events. That suits me fine, because I always hated anything promoted as a networking event, and I was always very bad at it.
Networking by computer feels less distasteful, but that still doesn't mean I know how to do it. The author specifically recommends using LinkedIn.
Well, that's interesting, because years ago, before the heyday of Facebook and before I learned to be wary of social networks, a friend recommended I join LinkedIn, so I did.
But I then had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. I got a lot of "please add me to your network" emails from people I knew, but I ignored them because I didn't know what to do with them.
Gradually they stopped and I heard no more from LinkedIn for years. But then a year ago I wished to contact a stranger for professional purposes - on a colleague's recommendation I wanted to offer her a writing assignment - and the only contact info I could find for her was a LinkedIn profile. So I dusted off my account and sent her a message.
All went well with that, eventually (she doesn't check LinkedIn very often), but somehow this managed to reactivate my account, and I'm getting "please add me to your network" emails again, this time from a somewhat more exotic collection of friends.
For instance, I just got one from a very old friend (I first met her 40 years ago, gaaah), whose peripatetic life I haven't always been able to follow but who is now a professor of ecopsychology at a Buddhist university, how's that for having friends who do something different? I looked her up with that specification (her name is not rare), and here she is on video talking about how mentally healthy it is just to get outside from time to time. At this moment that's particularly good advice.
By now I've learned to go ahead and add these people to my network, so I suppose I can keep track of where they are, but I still have absolutely no idea what else to do with a LinkedIn account. Any advice?