Christmas Networking 2.0

3 12 2008

December 25 feels like it’s eons away, but stop for a second and you can practically feel Santa breathing down your neck. (No, not in that way. What’s the matter with you? Perv.) Anyhow, between shopping and decorating and the many tribulations of holiday travel, it’s easy to put off one of the most important things you’ll do this holiday season: Christmas cards.

Christmas cards (or holiday cards, whatever, I’m not Bill O’Reilly) have evolved considerably from the annual family bulletin your parents probably still send on festive red paper.  For today’s young professional the holiday season represents a unique opportunity to reconnect with friends and former classmates scattered around the world and to solidify and expand your professional network.

someecards

Yes, writing and mailing cards to scores of college buddies, former co-workers, second cousins and childhood friends is both time consuming and labor intensive, but it’s worth it. Any other month of the year, an unsolicited handwritten note would come off as slightly creepy or reek of ulterior motives, but in December we all get a free pass. And no, ecards don’t count.

Fortunately, several sites offer handy online apps that streamline the process by  putting all of the network-building you’ve been doing all year to work. LinkedIn offers its own contacts export that packages first and last names and email addresses into a handy Excel spreadsheet, and BigSight.org has a Facebook app that pulls together your friend list alongside other criteria of your choice, including hometown, education, work, and affiliations.

You’re still going to have to write the cards yourself (that’s kind of the point), but this tools will get you off to a good start, and you’ll be reaping the rewards of rekindled relationships all year.

Happy writing, and a merry Christmas2.0 to everyone.

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2 responses

4 12 2008
Shilpa

Nice post…I live in Lusaka , Zambia right now…And its crazy!…Here the Xmas decorations went up late October, and Im not exaggerating !!!! There’s tinsel in green and red…A santa..A crib ..the whole works!!!! Maybe they need the info on the cards too!

6 12 2008
VHRG

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