Jason had a great post today about what I would call "second order networking" - the concept of using someone you are networked to to network to someone that they don't know. This is the equivalent of making a "3rd" connection on LinkedIn, because the request goes from you to someone you know, ultimately to a person that they don't know (through another contact).
From Jason's post:
"In each case I was asking for my network contacts to hook me up. Hereâ€™s the interesting thing: in every case they did not know the person that I needed to talk to.
This presents an interesting decision....
But here is what I would do. I would take the opportunity to grow my own network and try and make the connection. Why? Itâ€™s easier to go to someone that you donâ€™t know with a purpose...
It's a great point - not only does this type of networking allow you to expand your own network, but helps your network expand theirs.
I loved the concept so much that I think I'm going to send a few emails... I could use an introduction or two.