In our focus on network building, we take "content" to be one tool among many. Of course, that begs the question, what are the other tools? Here is a list, not perfect yet, but I think a good start (in no particular order of importance):
  • Technology (trackbacks, RSS, tags, etc.)
  • Knowledge (who is influential, who is trusted, who is controversial, etc.)
  • Online social skills (ability to approach other people in appropriate ways)
  • Participation/Collaboration (via comments, trackbacks, email, etc.)
  • Reputation/Trust (what you have now, what is developed over time)
  • Politics (an opinion or stated position)
  • Permeable organizational boundaries
  • Time management
  • Flexibility (ability to make changes in all of the above as needed)
Of course, you could say that these items aren't all "tools," but rather "attributes." However, each of these items can be used strategically - used for effect. Therefore, treating each as a tool gives it power or agency. This is important, because by taking each into consideration overtly, vs. as an afterthought, or masked by some other focus, you can easily harness the ability each has to transform your network-building activities.

By focusing simply on content, you will see only a small piece of the puzzle and lose the full value of the effectiveness the other tools can have.