There's been a hell of a lot of talk about the business value of networking in the past few years. That prompted the publication of numerous books and the creation of online services aimed at facilitating "networking".
All this is fine except that "networking" is first and foremost about people, not systems, about relations, not parodies of relations. I don't believe in tools that are supposed to facilitate contacts between people who don't know each other, have not met once, but are supposed to be willing to "network" and transact just because they are registered in some online tool which established 2nd, 3rd... degree ties between them. It is better to have a small network of people who really know you and who you really know rather than a large online virtual network of people who have never seen your face, nor heard the sound of your voice. Again business is about people, not systems. Will we end up solely relying on databases, online systems, avatars and agents impersonating people?