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I am fascinated by words. The words we speak, the words we recapture and make new again. There are so many re-invented words today, don’t you think? Have you noticed everything has a phonetic version? The online and app world has brought this to life, I think.

The other day my daughter mentioned, “They need some spice and all will be good.” Huh? Once again, I received an eye roll and head flip. “Mom, we have to explain this too?” Yep.

It means a little something extra, something that would make someone memorable, unique. Well, I certainly get that. I talk about that all the time.

I like it. Spice, my new term for what you need to add on LinkedIn.

But, I digress a bit. Once, I mentioned the term “content curation” to a colleague and she laughed out loud. “Why do you always make up new terms to make something sound bigger than it is?” I certainly didn’t invent content curation, and it absolutely became a part of what we are all doing — some to greater extents than others — I think I just adopted the term earlier than most. Again, partly because I’m so fascinated by really interesting new word combinations.

Let’s go to the next place. Network curators. You are now a curator of more than content. Consider the history of the word “curator.” It comes from the Latin and means overseer, guardian.


Imagine if you took this role seriously?

Remember when you mother said you were an extension of your friends? Turns out she was right.

Do you curate? If so, great.

If not, consider what you have the opportunity to curate.

  • Your professional brand
  • Your network — reach out and touch someone means something entirely new today
  • Your content
  • Your voice

Let’s look at the idea of a network curator. You have multiple networks. They may include your office, your neighborhood, your kid’s sports team, your faith center, your gym, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn. The average person is now on 10.4 channels and there are networks with each channel. How do you manage your networks? Are they segregated or integrated? Do you find yourself spending more time managing your networks than enjoying them?

Perhaps you haven’t even thought about how to manage your various groups or networks. The greatest danger is in not thinking about it. You will be left behind as others create, cultivate, and curate their networks. Take a few minutes and consider your networks and specifically your LinkedIn network. Better yet, take a few minutes and get specific with our  IANetworkMappingExercise or downloading a new app I just starting using, Refresh, a great way to have a dossier for members of your network.

LinkedIn network curators consistently and passionately do the following:

  1. Curate their networks with purpose and mutual benefit for themselves and the people in their network.
  2. Curate their networks with diversity, range and depth in mind.
  3. Share content, recommend, reach out, like, and comment with others in their network.
  4. Introduce people within their network.
  5. Be one of the spices that makes their network interesting.

And, remember, it’s just like a dinner party. Invite people who are interesting, enjoy a good sense of humor, and have good manners. They make for good networking companions, too.

Listen carefully to the world around you. Notice the words people are using and be curious — ask what they are talking about. It may spur you on to think differently about what you do and see in your own world.

I try to do that and know that when I am mindful, I see everything and everyone in new ways. Then I move toward being a better networker myself.

What are you doing to curate your LinkedIn network? Let me know in the comments below.