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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2010
QUICK SUMMARY: Like all the other "Skinny On" books, this little book with stick figures teaches the essentials behind social networking. Spend an hour and get some inspiration for building your network (even if you dread doing so). Recommended!

Background: This is maybe the fifth or sixth "Skinny On" book that I've read. The author's use of storyboard panels and stick figures helps to quickly and effectively communicate his message, this time, on social networking. Note that this is a TERRIFIC book for older students and young adults, who can gain so much from the life lessons explained in "The Skinny On" series of books.

WHAT I LIKED:

- As always, the whole book can be read in about an hour's time.
- The book describes WHY it's important to create a social network, as well as HOW to do so.
- There is practical advice throughout, such as using specific, business-oriented, social networking sites.
- The author neatly summarizes his 10 key points at the book's end.
- There is a great bibliography for doing further, more in-depth reading afterwards.
- This book compliments the message on "reciprocity" mentioned in The Skinny on the Art of Persuasion: How to Move Minds.
- The book also continues to advocate for respecting and helping others, not for calculated reasons, but because it's just decent human behavior.
- The author gives suggestions to those who (like me) often dislikes networking with others.
- It gives plain, simple advice that can be often overlooked.
- My teenaged son enjoys reading these business books!

WHAT COULD BE BETTER:

- I don't ascribe to the idea of doing good things to achieve "good karma" because I'm a Christian, and so I don't believe in "karma". I understand that others believe differently (fine), but I'm not motivated to do good things because of the existence of "karma" in the world. Perhaps the author could have expanded this part to include other, religious-oriented motivations for doing what we innately know to be the right way to treat another person.

Conclusion: Another great "Skinny On" book! As I mentioned at the top, this is a great book especially for young adults and students -- a great gift idea. I thank the publisher for providing me this complimentary copy to read and review. Recommended!
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on November 4, 2011
This is a great part of the continuing "The Skinny on" series. Like all books in this series it is a quick, informative read that walks you through networking for a job using a real life situation with advice collected from successful people spread throughout. The stories make the content of the book memorable which helps increase retention of its contents. For someone looking for a new job, or to better connect with people in life, this is a great read. Randel has a keen ability to not just dispense knowledge gained by researchers and famous people but to communicate that knowledge through illustrating the practical application of those points. Lastly, the author provides a good summary of his advice at the end of the book along with a short bibliography of the best works on the topic.
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on November 14, 2011
This is the first book in "the skinny on" series that I have read. Fortunately, it was a quick read that I knocked out in one sitting. The subject of networking is a frequent topic of discussion in business circles so there are bound to be plenty of folks looking for help here. I thought the story was a little "sappy" and took a long time to develop. The good news was that there were some solid tips in the form of two "Top 10" lists that were summarized near the end. These provided the greatest value in reading the book and were worth building up to. This is one that every business leader could pass to the sales team or those that represent the business at networking functions.
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I've really started to enjoy "The Skinny On" series. They are quick and easy to read, but contain a lot of useful information. Excellent books if you want a primer on a topic, or a quick review of a topic you are already familiar with. They are well researched and share the information in a different and somewhat humorous manner. "The Skinny On Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers" by Jim Randel is a great little guide on the basics of creating and maintaining a network of people that you help and in return receive help from them. It is definitely worth the hour or so it takes to read.

The book is told in frames, with two frames per page. The frames go along telling a story about Jim Randel and how he helps a young couple, Beth and Billy, become better at networking to enable them to further their successes. The "lessons" are shared by Jim to this young couple with humor added here and there. The story board portion is illustrated with stick figures, and if you are thinking, "What?" you can rest assured, that it actually works very well with this series of books. Other frames do not have pictures and contain quotes from popular books on the subject, rules, points the author wants to make, and so on. In the end, if concludes with a list of Randel's top ten points about networking.

If you have read other books on networking, you probably won't find anything new here. However, it will be a great reminder of some of the most important things to remember about networking. If you have not read any other texts on the topic, this is a great place to start. Randel explains why networking is important and provides tips and strategies for you to practice as you grow the number of relationships you have, as well as how you help each other. I really liked that he stressed that is is about helping others, not just seeing what others can do for you. I also liked the story about how Randel received $750,000 for about an hour of time helping someone else. If that doesn't illustrate how positive rewards can come back from helping others, what does?

Another valuable thing about the book is the references and resources listed. One could find and read the books that are quoted throughout the text, as well as those listed at the end of the book and continue their education with this topic. That's why I said this is a great place to start for the person who has not read anything in this area but want to lean. I also think it is a great book for the person who wants the basics and does not have much time to read and study. If a person would read this book, and actually apply the lessons it contains, they would become better and networking and most likely reap rewards from it. Sure, there is much more to learn and practice, but again, this is a great start. Or, a great review. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get ahead with the power of helping others and being helped by them.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of Hard-Won Wisdom From the School of Hard Knocks.
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on November 2, 2011
By Irene Conlan -

There's a new book in the Skinny On ... series - The Skinny On Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers by Jim Randel. It was released August 1 and is now available for purchase. It's a quick read and, like the other Skinny On books has everything you need to know to be successful at - in this case - networking. Even with interruptions I read it in less that two hours and, although I consider myself a "good networker," I picked up some gems I wish I had had when at the height of my business career. Not to worry, even though I'm retired now, I can still use the meaty material in this book.

Complete with the trademark stick figures that tell a story while making critical points about networking, this book will take you from A to Z. Starting with list making and continuing through to knowing what you want and how to express it clearly you will find yourself saying, "Why didn't I think of that before?" You will learn about finding and using connectors - those people who can get you to the people you need. After reading this book you will begin to think of networking as much more than meeting, greeting and handing out a business card.

Randel defines networking as developing and utilizing relationships with other people. Notice he doesn't limit networking business and in fact points out that it can open you up to new friendships and personal growth.

Randel states" Networking is not just about business. Networking is about increasing your depth and breadth as a person. What starts out as a business relationship may well end up as a friendship." If you aren't in business for yourself but want to build a network of friends, or seek volunteers and/or donations for a favorite charity, etc. you will get valuable tips on how to go about doing that. If you want to expand your networking on the Internet, you will find valuable tips on how to do that more effectively.

The top ten networking lessons you'll learn from this book are:

1. Make networking an important part of your business strategy.
2. When you have a specific need, start with family and friends.
3. When you want something, be precise in explaining it to others.
4. Reach outside your comfort zone.
5. Find `connectors' and buddy up to them.
6. The Internet is a super-powerful connector.
7. Don't assume people will help you just to be nice. Give them a reason to help you.
8. Give before you receive.
9. Be aware of your social capital.
10. Networking is not just about business.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2011
I needed this book but was afraid it might just be a guilt trip for me since I am such a bad networker. But I enjoyed the other Skinny books so decided to give this one a try. I was not disappointed and pleased that I haven't burned as many bridges as I might have thought and there is still hope for me. The idea of social capital was useful, and the list that specifies how not to deplete that reservoir. The book is sprinkled with tips such as stressing the "work" in networking and identifying certain highly social people as "connectors". I also liked the idea of "weak ties", that some of the most productive networking is with people you are only sightly acquainted with (because they are probably not of your profession or social class which means that their acquaintances are not a subset of yours). It also dispels some myths such as the six degrees of separation and substitutes a more rational model.

It is a good survey of the subject and overall I enjoyed this book. It is also a quick read and easy to review which I plan to do from time to time.
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on July 8, 2011
Are you planning to write a book, start a business or have information that needs to be shared among the masses? If so, do you know how to network? Have you thought about how to introduce yourself to others? If not, then it's time you learned how.

Randel has created a simple way to introduce anyone into the world of networking. Readers will learn how to lower interpersonal barriers. Get access to people who can help you. Start small and within your inner circle. Randel gives plenty of insight on social media and how to reach out and communicate.

If you are shy to start Randel will teach you how to get out of your comfort zone by getting to know someone and then making notes about what you've learned. Readers will learn how far to go with the networking you are doing. Read about how your favorite celebrities achieved their goals by networking. Learning to network is a slow process. Randel will teach you how to pace yourself and helpful tips are listed for quick and easy reference.
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VINE VOICEon November 13, 2013
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.
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on February 2, 2016
This book has ignited the networking spirit inside of me. I loved how quick I was able to read this book. I read it cover to cover in about 1 hr. I was able digest the points and start putting them into action immediately. I look forward to reading all "the skinny on" books!!! When your a business owner time is money. Reading quality books that save time and increase revenue is definitely a formula for success! My hats off to the author.
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VINE VOICEon December 10, 2011
This is the first of "the skinny on" series of books I have read. This book is humorous with the stick figure cartoons, it is easy to read and understand and it is a quick read. If you are new to networking, this is a great book to help you understand how it all works, and how who you know can help you now and later. Very good for young adults or people just learning about networking. The author talks about networking online as well as off, moving out of your comfort zone, cold calling and much more.
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