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Sharon Housley had a very interesting session about networking, of which I unfortunately missed the start.
For clarity: When we talk about networking in a shareware conference context, we are talking about meeting people, not about connecting computers to each other.
This is what these conferences are all about for me.

There were of course the many familiar faces of people who have known each other for years and have been traveling around the world together for all this time. It is always so great to meet you guys again!

There are also always some people that you have known for a long time by email, but meet for the first time. This is always very interesting.
This year, for me, the above-mentioned Sharon Housley was one of those.
But I also met my major competitors from Shell+ for the first time. This was quite a surprise! I'm happy to have met them, and would have loved to hang out with them more.

Then there are also the people you have heard about professionally, but never been in touch with. Let's call them the "celebrities".

And the last group consists of people you have never heard about, but who are so great that you are lucky to meet them.

Ethics of networking

You might think that networking on shareware conferences is purely business directed, and that people are just pretending to be friends for business purposed.

Fortunately, in my experience, this is not the case.

You will usually see that competitors are hanging out together, and that people are hanging out together without any business interests at all.

I think I have many friends in the shareware world, and that they are true friends.. And so do all of us.

This being said, it is of course obvious that it is important in business to know many people.
And like Sharon pointed out in the session, nobody will ever be offended if you ask them to do business.

You can usually also tell from the conferences who is doing business with whom: I think it is only normal to be friendly with the people you are working with.

I can say that there are several people whom I am working with because I met them on shareware conferences. But I have never felt that I was using them, or that they were using me. The friendships are too important for that.

Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 9:44 PM Shareware | Back to top

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