It's All About Who You Know
Social networking software is intriguing. But does it really replace the old-fashioned method of making connections? Today's column got its start when Kevin Werbach, another tech commentator, sent me a request to join his "network" at the new site LinkedIn. I was curious about LinkedIn, so Werbach helped me contact its founder, Reid Hoffman -- even though Werbach doesn't know Hoffman personally (the two just "have friends in common"). Werbach helped me meet someone useful to my work. And this is just what Hoffman is trying to systematize with his service.