How a Rolodex Can Become a Ladder

By Kathy Zucker

617 contacts. Real estate professionals, painters, plumbers, doctors, lawyers and social media professionals. Non-profit directors, hospital executives and hedge fund managers.

socialmedia-thumbnailIf you swap contact info with me, I usually try to email you on the spot with our names, phone numbers and the context for our meeting. Gmail has virtually unlimited storage space and a great search function, enabling me to dredge up names and decade-old information. People who I encounter repeatedly wind up on a Google Documents list titled “Hoboken Neighbors.”  Contact information is instantly accessible on my computer, tablet and phone. I also have family birthdates and social security numbers stored in a password-protected file for school and modeling paperwork.

The 617 people listed in my Google Contacts? Are essentially on speed dial. When I encounter a situation that requires a fast answer, I search my contacts list using terms like “home repair” or “accountant.” Data for my widely read Patch blog on Hoboken family living? Came from realtor Marie Gomer, organic food coop manager Mary Vidal and a Hoboken board of ed member. If I have a question, I reach out to people and save the information to publish the next time it becomes relevant.

Every time I talk to someone, I am networking. If I meet someone and we hit it off, I connect on Twitter or Facebook. Like tends to attract like – I met some of my most trusted friends on social media. We share similar interests, read the same news articles and like the same TV shows. Every day, messages pop up from people asking for advice on attending Legoland Discovery Center or how to watch fireworks in Hoboken, NJ. These are the people who propelled me to a Shorty Awards win in April.

Networking relationships bear fruit in unexpected ways. When my shower suddenly would not turn off on Fourth of July weekend, my husband and I started panicking and looking for a shut off valve. The only place we could find one? The toilet. Andy Denny talked me through shutting down our hot water heater over the phone. Within 48 hours, Andy tracked down the missing part that I could not find on the internet and repaired the shower to restore hot water and cleanliness to the Zucker household. And the best part? No emergency service call fee since that is against company policy.

When I use social media to stay in touch, I never know when I am going to meet someone who will change my life.

kathyzucker_roundKathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network, mother of three young children and winner of the New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. Read her MomCondoLiving blog, follow her on Twitter (@KathyZucker), or friend her on Facebook.

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  1. Love this Kathy! I’ve met so many people via social media. Met so many “online” friends offline and have built so many amazing friendships because of these bonds that tie us.

    • Kathy Zucker

      Rita, meeting you has been an absolute pleasure and a perfect case in point for how social media can strength tenuous connections. Looking forward to seeing you IRL again soon!

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