Social Enterprise

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Who accepts my social networking invites?

North America more eager to network than the Far East

Compiled at my home early one morning when I just couldn't sleep, and dispatched to silicon.com via a free wi-fi service in London a week later.

My earliest experiences of social networking alerted me to the cultural differences between peoples and companies. It started with companies banning the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo and then moved onto the extremely variable response times to invitations and the varying acceptance rates.

Unfortunately, I never kept an accurate record of response times but I did accumulate evidence on the acceptances front. Just as in real life, the relaxed and accepting style of North America contrasts significantly with the more cautious and measured approach of the Middle and Far East in social networks.

The chart below shows the acceptance rates of several geographical regions, based on around 1,600 invitees I've contacted.

While this result certainly reflects the levels of networking in each region, it should not be assumed to be scientifically accurate as it only describes my relatively small sample of contacts. However, the circumstance of individual meetings and introduction mechanisms is reasonably uniform.

What might we conclude? For sure networking is different in the West compared to the East. The implications for industry and society, however, aren't obvious, and I have no demographic relating to age, occupation or other factors. I think there's at least one PhD and several books in here somewhere!

About Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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