Fansourcing and Networking

"Fansourcing" is a term I use for calling upon your fellow fans, geeks, and otaku for your various business, career, and personal ventures – designing your business cards, helping with your website, and so on. It's something I strive to practice because it helps friends, builds relations, and lets me call upon considerable talents.

However, Fansourcing is not just something you can practice for yourself.  You can help others with it – and it's a great way to encore networking

Know someone working on a website?  Refer the people that do your online portfolio or con website to them.  You help out both friends – and help them get to know each other.

Know someone trying to get a book done?  Hook up that person who edited your self-published book with them.  Everyone wins.  (I of course speak from experience here).

Don't just think of it as a chance to put together two people who need each other.  Sure that's good and all, but you also have a chance to help people use and develop that all-important job skill of networking.  You can encourage them to build connections by showing them how it works – by helping do some fansourcing.

So next time you find someone looking for some help and realize you can fansource some efforts for them, remember you're not just helping two people get some work done (or find work).  You're teaching the value of networking.

– Steven Savage