What Is Networking Times All About?
I just found a copy of your magazine in the bookstore and noticed readers in your Letters page talking about receiving special articles from you by e-mail [Vol. 2, No. 6, June 2003, page 9]. Elsewhere in that issue, I noticed references to your "community members" and what seem like other aspects of what you do, beyond the magazine I'm holding in my hands. What exactly is your "community" all about--and how can I get my hands on those special training articles?
Gabriel Media Group co-founder Chris Gross responds:
We started the Networking Times community to create a space on the Web for folks to connect, gather information, access the insights and best practices of some very successful networkers. In our first 20 months, we have had close to two million visits and over 25 million hits!
The newsstand magazine Networking Times is the centerpiece: an authentic voice for the networking professional, without hype or distracting "come work with me" ads. Through "Straight Talk," our Web-based comment log, our subscribers add their own insights to the various articles, adding a third dimension to the editorial content.
Each Friday we send out a weekly training article and announce the next "Networking Trainers" events. We've been providing these Web- and teleconference-based seminars (featuring some of the top names in personal development) free to our community members for the past few months. Feedback from these events also helps us learn more about you, the community. We listen and learn, and based on that, select the highest-interest topics as course curriculum for our "Networking University," a multi-media, interactive training experience designed to accelerate the learning process and create certified networking professionals.
Our President, Laura Kall, has added to the mix what she calls "my brain on the Web": Networking Office, a free personal information manager and daily planner with integrated autoresponders.
You're right: there is more to the Networking Times community than the magazine you hold in your hands--and you can access it all simply by visiting www.networkingtimes.com and creating a freefeli account.
Aren't We Nosey!
I was going to purchase a book from you all, but when I tried to do it, I discovered you wanted not only my credit card information, name and address, but also my gender, date of birth and telephone number. I'm a little surprised you didn't ask for my DMV record and criminal history. I'd rather spend the extra $15 at a local bookstore. Thanks, but no thanks.
Perhaps we should better communicate our reasons for the questions. It's true, we do ask our community members' for their birthdays. Why? Because we like to give each member a small birthday gift on the appropriate day. The question of gender helps fill out our demographic profile, which helps us better understand our membership. And the phone number? That's for our shipper, in case there's any problem delivering your package.
I have been an avid reader of Networking Times for the past year. In fact, it was because of Networking Times that I finally pushed myself off of the fence and dove into network marketing, which was only one year ago this August.
Over the last year, I have gained a lot of knowledge, training and a better understanding of this industry because of Networking Times; I now work this business full-time and have already built a fairly substantial organization. Thank you and keep up the great work.
I want to wish you the very best of success with your fantastic publication. It is one of the best resources I have seen in my 25 years in the small business arena.
--Jim Donovan, author, Handbook to a Happier Life
In our second issue we featured a special section on networking families, called "Generations." In one of our five stories, we wrote about Trey and Mamie Herron and their extended networking family--Trey's parents were accomplished network marketers, and after Mamie joined the business, her parents joined as well.
As we were preparing this "Community" for press, we learned that we had lost a part of our own community. Bill Herron, Trey's father and the patriarch of the family we wrote about, died on August 15, 2003.
Bill joined network marketing in 1984. Bill's selflessness and generosity were legendary; he and his wife Clem went on to become two of the most highly respected and beloved leaders in their company.
Eight years later, in 1992, an enterprising man named Frank Petrocelli joined the Herrons' organization. Frank and his wife Annette, successful entrepreneurs who had owned a chain of hair salons, soon became key figures in the Herrons' group; in fact, we featured a Profile on the Petrocellis in our June, 2003 issue.
Frank and Bill came to share a special personal bond. "In the early days," recalls a friend, "when Bill would come to New York, Frank would act as though royalty were visiting!" He loved the man; in fact, he served as a pallbearer at Bill's funeral.
Frank suffered from a number of medical conditions, the most serious of which required coronary bypass surgery. His health worsened, and on August 20, just five days after Bill's death, Frank passed away as well.
Bill Herron and Frank Petrocelli are both sorely missed by many--and even more, they are remembered, for their extraordinary warmth as human beings, and for the incalculable contribution to the lives of so many thousands of people whose lives they touched.