Friday, 30th August 2013

by Joshua Gaskell

I’m often told that the only way to get my novel published is “networking,” the verb of action regarding social networks and using them ‘for professional or other advantage’ (OED). But it seems to me that networking per se boils down to simply meeting, talking, liking, remembering, keeping in touch, and helping, all very natural and human activities. The fact that it leads us to talking about an elite’s monopoly on power is an indictment of that monopoly, not the impulse to help the people that we know, which is a good one, and probably ineradicable. “Networking,” therefore, is an ugly word that makes unnecessarily cynical the normal, social, human activity of helping people you know. You feed your neighbours cat, not the cat of someone you’ve never met before – that’s networking.