Networking has been around for a very, very, long time. When I was younger, my dad always told me "It's not what you know but who you know" that's important. He is the one who encouraged me to make contacts and keep a list of contacts so that if you need to, you can find another job. You never believe your parents until they are proved right.
Since then, I've known people who got into selling things and used their connections to market the product of the month. I've had friends who tried to get me into that type of program but I had trouble with it because you made the most money by recruiting people to get more people to sell the products. Never made sense to me.
Now, it appears that networking is the way business is being done. You network with other bloggers to help increase the number or readers thus benefiting both of you. You network to find out when and where conferences are so that you can present at them. You network to get a job helping to train people in something you are an expert in.
Part of networking is having a business card with a QR code so people can scan your information into digital form. It used to be that you just passed out business cards but that soon became passe due to modern apps that will scan business cards into your digital device. Its getting to the point, I can even put a QR code into my blogs, my e-mails, anything and the code has all the information a person needs to find me. In many ways, the QR code is the new business card and makes networking so much easier.
Furthermore, social media is the second layer of networking because people can exchange ideas and information through twitter, facebook, even webpages. Networking has become do digitally based, you never really need leave home to make the contacts you used to have to make in person.
I admit I'm a bit behind on social media. I am slowly joining the rest of the world, one step at a time. I am going to set up a twitter account and a facebook page over the holidays. More on that later.