Scott Allen blogs a great story. I have strong reservations about Ecademy as a platform, think that in general it has a approach to networking that sees contacts as prospects first, and as human beings only second at the most. (Although there are a lot of very interesting and fine people active there, in groups and communities) But I have to hand it to Ecademy founder Thomas Power for giving great proof to a group of T-Mobile managers, that there is nothing un-real about our virtualnetworks. We’re real, we’re professionals, and we’re using new tools as best as we can.

5 reactions on “Real People Talking Real Business in Real Time

  1. Thanks for the link, Ton. I agree — it’s a great story. I especially like your last sentence — a classic, which I will most surely quote you on. 😉
    Having spent a lot of time on Ecademy, having read Thomas Power’s books, etc., I think the idea that their approach sees contacts as prospects first doesn’t seem to me like the message they put forth, and certainly hasn’t been my experience.
    As a great example, there’s the story of Edward Nash, whose nephew was shot and killed in Johannesburg and his brother was in intensive care. He needed to get his parents to Johannesburg, but “They are frail and would suffer in tourist class but we can only afford tourist.”
    A week later, here’s what he wrote:

    “Your response to my plea for help was so spontaneous and generous that my parents could not believe that I had such a marvellous circle of friends. We have an amazing movement here and one I am so proud to have a hand in. Your response was literally amazing with people from all over the world offering to assist us in our hour of need.

    With the brilliant help of ecademist and travel consultant Janet Swaby, I got them away club class on Saturday, arriving yesterday to be able to attend Julian’s funeral today and visit Alexander in intensive care.

    Your offers of help, advice and sheer generosity were overwhelming. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I hope I can give as much back to you and Ecademy.

    In another example, Ricky O’Neill posted a blog about his brother with Downs Syndrome who contracted a condition known as PANDAS, and put out the call for help on Ecademy. A few weeks later:

    “The information I have received so far has been fantastic and my parents are wading through it as I write…Thanks again Ecademy and all who have helped me so far.”

    Even my friend Sharon Drew Morgen, best-selling author of Selling With Integrity, has been totally blown away by Ecademy. In less than a week, she’s made some absolutely fantastic contacts — potential partners and people just willing to help with referrals, not so much customers. Most importantly, in a phone call with her this morning, she said “You know the thing that has impressed me most? What has really blown me away? It’s how KIND everyone has been. I’m just amazed at how many people just genuinely want to help.”
    All one has to do, Ton, is a content search on “thank you” to see that Ecademy is far more than just a prospecting venue.
    I think what you’ve probably experienced is the “blind men and the elephant” phenomenon — what one sees when one first joins one of this networks becomes one’s impression of the entire network. But with even just 30,000 people or so, that may represent only one small segment, and there’s something entirely different going on elsewhere. That’s why I always encourage people to explore a little more even if at first a particular network may not seem quite right for them.

  2. I agree with Scott. I do think ecademy used to be more ‘commercial’ but I now only get one or 2 ‘unwelcome’ contacts a month, and the areas of the site are now clearly segregated into commercial and non-commercial.
    I also think that it’s only a minority of ecademists that value volume over ‘quality’ (however you define that) of contacts, despite what Thomas Power says.
    I define quality as interesting people with whom I can share knowledge.

  3. Hi Scott, hi Sally,
    Thanks for commenting!
    As I originally wrote, I know there are loads of interesting and fine people in Ecademy. I am in contact with a lot of them, although mostly not through the Ecademy platform itself. So my criticism is not aimed at the majority of people there.
    What I do have reservations about is how in my view a number of people do rate volume over quality, including Thomas Power himself, when it comes to relations in the Ecademy network and I think that those ideas are partly enhanced by the structure the platform has.
    What reinforces my view on Ecademy in that sense is that not only do I get regular unwelcome approaches of the kind I am spamfiltering out in other channels, the same thing now is happening in LinkedIn where Ecademists ask to be my “friend” in the same sentence they want to sell me stuff, based on the fact that I am in Ecademy as well.
    That is what I saw happening in general on Ecademy in the past 2 yrs or so. And again, that does not mean that there aren’t a large number of wonderful people in Ecademy, I know there are, and I am sure there are thousands more still that I am not aware of. To me relationship comes first, transactions perhaps later. The majority of approaches I get at Ecademy is transaction oriented first. But maybe that effect is only strengthened by the fact that because of that I spend little time at Ecademy, using other channels for my relations to other Ecademists.

  4. I joined Ecademy in July as it was the route into the Dutch Connection.
    My experience with Ecademy is such that I just don’t visit there any more. When I was logged in after first signing up, I got 8 personal messages within the 20 mins I was logged in. 7 of those were pitching some kind of deal.
    I last visited Ecademy two weeks ago – and during my 15 minute log in received 2 messages with deals.
    I’m afraid I wouldn’t recommend Ecademy to anyone.

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