The Power of Intentions in Social Networking


SN Intentions 09 17 09 - 1177581_39368842I have recently been participating in what is essentially the same discussion across multiple LinkedIn Groups.  It’s interesting to observe (and appreciate) the frustrations felt by many when the sales, marketing, and “connect with me” messages overtake the discussions.  There are many of us on-line who value the discussions – the ability to connect and to learn.  In many ways, the social networking tools have replaced the old “water cooler” discussions.  That, and the periodic after work stop at a local “watering hole”. 

To me what underlies the frustration is the intention.  The intention of the person posting is to get something from the interaction rather than giving something or learning something.  Yes, building relationships is important – both personally and professionally. However, there are multiple ways to build the relationship and the intentions often shine through whether you realize it or not.  Good, lasting relationships are most frequently the result of interactions where the intention was focused on giving or learning, solving a problem, or delivering a project together.

Intentions underlie everything in life.  Have you stopped to think about your intentions?  How those intentions might be perceived by others?  How your underlying intentions might actually be getting in the way of what you really need? 

What are my intentions in this blog?  Simply to share thoughts, provoke thinking, foster introspection, and improve business operations through influencing one person at a time.  If you refer back to the first post, I do believe that together can build a revolution for a better business environment.

For those of you frustrated by what you see occurring in your Social Network (SN), don’t just vent, take action.  Here are a few ideas:

  • First, check your own behaviors.  Ensure you are consistent.
  • Suggest a function change to the SN tool if appropriate.  Are people using a specific feature incorrectly because there is no alternative?
  • Contact the individual privately.  Send a note to the person who posted the discussion point.  Open a dialog directly with them to understand their intentions and provide feedback on how you perceived them.  When doing this, I have found individuals did not realize how they were coming across.
  • Respond publicly.  Put your thoughts out there.  But, be polite, not confrontational.
  • Remove yourself from groups.  We add, but do we stop and remove ourselves if the group adds no value to our online interactions.
  • Change your settings.  Reduce which items are pushed to you and which you visit when you want.

Happy Networking!  May you build valuable personal and professional relationships over time.  I have.   A Shout Out to one of my new SN friends and Jana, who reviewed this posting for me.

Categories : Cultural Change


  1. Long Huynh says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere, another keystone of Social Networking. Your presence at this big on-line party, and the ponderings & insights that you bring as gifts, will certainly enlighten many. You can play a role model for others who need to learn how to translate their best intentions into socially acceptable “netiquette”.

  2. Faith Fuqua-Purvis says:

    Thanks Long. Loved the anology of an on-line party!

  3. Asim Qureshi says:

    This article is really enlightening and thought provoking.I agree with Long, you can certainly play a role model for people like us who have to go a long way for what Long called “netiquette”

  4. Faith Fuqua-Purvis says:

    Thank you Asim. Knowing that I have helped someone along the way is of great value to me. I will do my best to continue doing so. I also look forward to learning something from you along the way.

    If you (or someone else who happens to read this comment) one day feel that the “writing muse” has come to visit, please feel free to send me a draft of an article. If it is appropriate (aka – in line with the objectives of this section), I would be happy to have you as a guest writer.

    What do I mean by the “writing muse“? I’ve observed/experienced that there are times that something seems to be on my mind. That I feel inspired in some way or have gained a personal insight. I’ve found that when that occurs, I need to make myself stop and write. If I don’t capture key thoughts at that time, they often float away and never come back quite as elegantly.

    The insight for you… Don’t feel that your ideas have to be polished right away. Write when you feel inspired. Set it aside and refine it later. For example, I sent myself a number of emails last Aug/Sept about ideas for this section (the muse was fairly silent in Nov/Dec). I’m going to go find the emails and polish up the ideas so that they can be shared.

  5. WP Themes says:

    Amiable dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes