Review-The Skinny On Networking

The Skinny On Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers, Jim Randel, 2010, ISBN 9780984441815
This is another in a series of simple, but not simplistic, books that teach a “large” subject very painlessly. This one is all about networking.

Billy is a high school history teacher. He would like to be a college music teacher, but such vacancies are few and far between. Randel, the narrator, tells Billy to start by asking his network, like friends and family, if they can help. Maybe someone knows someone who knows someone. He shouldn’t assume that they already know about his desire to be a college music teacher; he has to tell them, specifically. If he sends an email, he should be very careful about who gets it. Don’t just send it to everyone on your e-mail list.

If that doesn’t fulfill the request, expand your horizons. For instance, dust off your college yearbook, and start looking up old classmates. Cold calling is never fun, but it is an essential part of networking. The book talks about connectors, those who seem to know people in many different “groups.” If you come in contact with such a person, becoming acquaintances or friends with them is a very good idea. Think of social capital as a form of karma; you can never have too much of it. Try very hard to do things for other people (increasing your social capital supply) before you ask for things from other people (reducing your social capital supply).

Billy’s wife, Beth, is a lawyer who would like to be partner. She knows that it involves bringing in more clients, but she is uncomfortable asking total strangers for their business. Randel suggests that she join business and professional groups that will put her in the company of people who may need her services in the future. Networking is not supposed to be quick or easy, so don’t get discouraged if “it” doesn’t happen very quickly.

This is another excellent book that is made for busy people. The idea is to distill the major points from many books on a subject, like networking, into an easy to read format that still has a lot to say. Along with the rest of the series, this is very highly recommended.

Paul Lappen is a freelance book reviewer whose blog, Dead Trees Review, emphasizes small press and self-published books.

How to Choose a Good IT Company

With the advent of the internet, and more and more technology, people have gained more and more choices in every aspect of their life. Cars give you the choice to go to the local pizza place or order from a little farther away, and shipping advances have given you more and more diverse choices at the grocery store. Some of these choices are more important than others, however, and as a result are much harder to make. One of these choices is how to choose between the many IT services companies in Minneapolis, MN and find the one that works the best for you or your company. There are a few things you can do to cut down on the number that you have to choose from, and help you decide which works best for you. Here are a few ideas to help you decide.
Know What You Need

There are a lot of companies that offer exceptional services, but those aren’t always the same services that you are looking for or that you need in your company. You need to know what services you need and what is most important in a company to you. Is it dependability, price, experience, or references? There are a lot of good IT services companies in Minneapolis, MN like Network Medics, but knowing what is most important to you will help you to pick the ones that value and focus on the same standards that you do.

Experienced and Qualified

An easy way to help you make a good choice out of the IT service companies in Minneapolis, MN is to look at the qualifications and certifications that they have. If they are certified in the services that you need, then you know you will be getting quality service, and work. If they have a lot of experience, then you know two things. One, that they have done a lto of work in the field, so they know what they are doing, and can bring that knowledge to your company and help avoid common and uncommon mistakes. Two, they have a lot of past clients that you can ask about their work, and probably have a lot of satisfied clients, or they might not have lasted as long as they have.


The best companies will care about their clients and want to provide the best services that they can. This means the will focus on prevention of issues and not just reactionary repairs to a malfunctioning network. Preventing issues might mean less work for them, but they know that happy and satisfied customers will bring in more work in the future, and you can know they are good companies.

How to Choose

In the end there probably isn’t an obvious best choice for your company or any company, but there are some choices that will be better than others. Network Medics and other IT services companies in Minneapolis, MN have a lot to offer, and have great services, but you need to find the one that offers what you are looking for and pick one that you and your company will be satisfied with. Hopefully this guide could help you a little to narrow down the choices.