Take a look at this article by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Although the first photo shows him with a table full of electronic devices, real networking, Hoffman claims, is personal and about cultivating genuine relationships.
Hoffman describes six principle for fostering a strong and honest network:
1. The best network is wide and (selectively) deep.
2. Give helpful help.
3. Set up an “interesting people” fund.
4. Work within three degrees of separation.
5. Recognize the diversity of weak ties.
6. Strengthen your alliances.
If you take Hoffman’s advice, you’ll strengthen your network naturally and with dignity. No beggar mentality involved!