The Network goes National

This past week I received multiple calls and e-mails from people across the United States that wanted to take the Washington DC Design and Construction Network concept to their region. Through these conversations it has become clear that the concept is larger than just the Washington DC market, and that it possibly provides the opportunity for a fresh wave of networking in our industry. On the heels of these discussions I am excited to announce that we are changing the Network to enable others in the industry to leverage a nation wide network. As of today the network has a new name; the Design and Construction Network!

The goal in building the network as a national network is to provide others with the opportunity to bridge the gap between online networking and building business. It is our hope that those I have spoken with, as well as others, will leverage the national network to bring people together not just in an online environment, but also at the local level. With that said, here are the three things you need to know about the Design and Construction Network:

  1. Happy Hours for Everyone – The primary purpose of the network is, and always has been, to bridge the gap between online networking and true relationship development. To that end, the goal for the national launch is still to facilitate in-person meetings. To accomplish this, we are looking to team with individuals in local markets that are looking to make in-person networking events a reality. If you are interested in facilitating an event in your neck of the woods, start by joining the network. Then send me a note to let me know of your interest so we can work together to make it happen.
  2. Washington DC -The Washington DC network will remain the flagship of the Network as we work to try new concepts that can be leveraged in other regions as well. The main change will be that the bi-weekly e-mail will be turned into a national newsletter. The Local website will remain at dcdcn.com and we will maintain plans to expand it to bolster benefits of being a part of the Network at the local level here in Washington DC.
  3. You – Now it is your turn to be apart of the Network… after reading posts about the Network for weeks it is your turn to jump in! All I ask is that you are serious about building relationships and not just collecting “Links.” If you are in the Design and Construction Industry please click here to become a member. I also want to recognize that over half of Cofebuz’s readers are not in the Design and Construction industry. To that end, I look forward to sharing with you the lessons learned here on Cofebuz in addition to my weekly posts on Marketing and Building Business though Social Networking.

As always, thank you for being apart of Cofebuz!

Tim Klabunde

Taking over with Web 2.0

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I am beyond excited that tomorrow we will be announcing the launch of the Washington DC Design and Construction Network website! As many of you know we have been working to bridge the gap between online and in person networking since the establishment of the Washington DC Design and Construction Network in November 2008. The rollout of this website sets the stage for the second step in bridging this gap. Keep reading if you want to find out what makes this website so different and why it is so important to the Network.

Taking Over

Tomorrow I will also be announcing that we have arranged to take over an entire restaurant in Arlington Virginia for our second Happy Hour! That is right; the restaurant will be closed to the general public and open to the members of the Washington DC Design and Construction Network. As you may recall from my post Online Networking meets Real Networking, we beyond exceeded the room capacity for our first Happy Hour. It is great to see how this event has so rapidly grown to the next level, clearly showing the power of combining social (online) networking and in person networking!

The link between a Happy Hour and a website: Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is about creating value and information while web 1.0 was (and is) all about setting up a site that reads like a brochure. What makes the Washington DC Design and Construction Network website so different isn’t the HTML, it is in the information we are providing through the site! Take a look and you will find links to all of the local procurement websites, feeds from the Washington Business Journal updated every 5 minutes, places to network with other members of the group, and an official Network MBE Directory.

Why

To Build Relationships! Success in life comes from relationships, both personally and professionally. As all of you in the Cofebuz network already know, the best way to build relationships by selflessly helping others. So why not expand on this idea? What would happen if each of us didn’t just help a handful of people but instead tried to help thousands?!  Whatever the outcome, it will be a fun case-study. I look forward to sharing the results of our little experiment with you here at Cofebuz!


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Online Networking meets Real Networking

dcdcn-happy-hour-feb-2009-002As you may recall on December 1st 2008 I posted an article about how most people struggle to use Online Networking as an effective tool in the development of their personal networks. You may have also have noticed that many people spend time on LinkedIn just collecting “links” instead of developing relationships. At the time I posted the previous article, I had just established the Washington DC Design and Construction Network on LinkedIn with the goal of bridging online networks and in person relationships. I am excited to announce that the experiment has become a huge success!

An “Online” Happy Hour

On Wednesday last week the Washington DC Design and Construction Network held its first ever Happy Hour exclusively for the members of our LinkedIn group. The results were astounding: In the first 24 hours after announcing the happy hour I received 40+ RSVPs. By last Wednesday we had 130+ people attend the happy hour and many were turned away as our venue could only hold 100 people. As I write this on Sunday afternoon we have over 480 people in the Network.

An idea whose time has come

We all know the power that online networking sites hold, but few have been able to figure out how to harness it as a tool for networking (that is to build mutually beneficial relationships). This week when you are on LinkedIn, or any other of a number of online networking sites, ask yourself if you are just collecting “links,” or if you are doing something to build relationships. If you think you might be collecting links, take the first step to building your network: look at your LinkedIn contacts and help three people just because you can. When you focus on helping others instead of yourself you are focusing on building mutually beneficial relationships.

If you live in the DC area and you are interested in joining the Washington DC Design and Construction Network just follow this link to LinkedIn and click “Join Now.” All we ask is that you are in the Design and Construction industry in Washington DC and that you are serious about doing more than just “linking” to other people.