Networking is an active process. It requires engagement, follow through and follow up. With all of the technology in the world, it still requires time for planning, thinking and responding. If I had the talent, I would draw a picture of this example, but since words are my medium, this analogy will have to be represented without visuals.
Imagine researching the web or purchasing books about putting in a lawn. You can learn about timing, the best seeds, what types of grass grow best in the region you live in, how to water and which fertilizer to use.
After all the reading and researching, eventually, the process to grow your lawn must begin. The ground has to be tilled, the seeds sown, fertilizer spread, the ground watered. And watered and watered. It requires daily attention to ensure the result of all of your careful research is actually working. It might turn out that the seeds or fertilizer used aren’t adapting to your soil or climate as anticipated. Oh, and then the weeding starts.
Another approach, of course, is to pick up a bag of unidentified seeds, throw them into your yard and wait to see what happens next. Having high expectations for even huge numbers of seeds to sprout when thrown on untilled land or clay, without any water, is probably going to lead to disappointment.
The bottom line is: without consistent and continued effort, the lawn will never sprout, it can die or it can get overgrown with weeds. And that, my friends, is what can happen with a network that is not seeded, nurtured and tended to, each and every day.