I accept that networking can be pretty impersonal, and the masters are those who can network and make every networkee feel like there is a personal connection; I am not one of those people. Now comes all these social services, like FaceBook (which is a bit more personal since there tends to be a less business like air about it) and LinkedIn which is a bit less personal due to its business angle... but the gaps between the two are narrowing.
I just received another invite through LinkedIn from a person I know of but hardly know personally, which is a step up from those i have never even heard of, and it was simply a "X wants to connect with you". I got another invite via Facebook which was almost the exact same thing, which is a bit more insulting to me in Facebook because both of these are generic invites but facebook is supposed to be more personal and in facebook i *thought* the purpose was to make friends not contacts. Anyway, I have inboxes in facebook and linkedin full of unaccepted invites. I have made it a point that anyone I invite (very few so far) I include a personal message to, to at the very least not give the appearance of totally superficiality be it for facebook or linkedin... I thought these two services were supposed to promote socialization but they seem to have done the opposite with people taking the attitude of who-ever-dies-with-the-most-online-friends/contacts-wins... sigh.