By Srinivas Rao, Contributing {grow} Columnist

The headline for this post I think is a very applicable philosophy to approaching the social web.

If you have really immersed yourself in this world you’ve probably experienced what Mark calls this wonderful random synergy of social media by now.  You’re probably forming amazing new relationships, but have you ever wondered how this happens?  What is the process?

Between running a podcast and talking to people on Twitter, I spend an absurd amount of time building relationships with people online. While I wish I could boil it down to an exact science, I can’t. I form great relationships with some people and with others  nothing seems to materialize.  I’ve had guests on my podcast that I seem to get along with and then never talk to me again and don’t even tweet the interview I did with them.  There’s something about building relationships online that you can’t really quantify or distill into a formula. I call it the “click factor.”

There’s really no step by step guide for creating the click factor with people online. Everybody seems to find different things that make them click with each other. For some it’s a common interest while for others it’s a similar sense of humor that ties them together. The hardest thing about understanding the “click” factor is that it really can’t be forced. It’s something that has to occur naturally and if you open yourself up to new people a world beyond your wildest dreams will emerge.

What Makes us “Click” with Each Other?

It’s no secret that if somebody flatters you, you’ll have a tendency to like them. But we have to be careful not to take this too far given that people will see right through your insincerity.  The other thing to note is that your flattery might even be completely ignored. Where we really start to click is when we get beyond flattery and find ourselves in an ongoing conversation that seems to go from hours to days to weeks to months.  Pay close attention to who these people are in your own network because they’re the ones you’ve really clicked with. There’s people that I’ve been talking to on twitter for months on end and probably will for as long as Twitter is around because we simply click.

3 Clicking Case Studies

Bud Hennekes: Bud Hennekes is a young blogger who I interviewed a while back. Truth be told I didn’t really like him that much because he told me about all the things that were wrong with my blog Skool of Life. To his credit he was spot on about all of them and when I made those changes, all of a sudden he was much more interested in what I was up to. Over time Bud has been a big supporter of everything I’ve done and has made predictions about how “massive” BlogcastFM will be. When somebody believes in what you’re doing like that, you can’t help but want to be in their corner. The more you believe in someone else the more they’ll believe in you, especially if you kiss a few digital babies.

Crystal Street: Crystal Street is somebody I consider a great friend online. She does amazing photography work and  I can’t even recall exactly how we connected. But it wasn’t long before I found myself talking to her almost every single day about surfing, photography, travel and everything else. Something about her inspired me and I’m guessing something about me inspired her. As a result we just clicked.  When you manage to inspire each other you almost tend to act as the fuel for each other’s fire. We all need a bit of fuel for our fire. Figure out who yours is.

Jessika Hepburn: Jessika is the owner of OhMyHandmade a very popular site in the handmade community. I’m not really an avid reader of Handmade blogs, but  I’ve connected a few members of the handmade niche because it turns out we have a very strong BlogcastFM listener base there. Jessica was recommended to me as  potential guest by another one of our listeners. Even through our tweets I got a very friendly vibe from Jessika and I could tell I was going to like her. Just remember people can feel everything you say, even if it is digital. After our chat, I sent Jessica copy of my e-book and based on her response it was clear we had really clicked. We had very similar ideas of how relationships are built online.  We don’t have much in common in terms of our blogs, but somehow we still clicked, which is why you should talk to plenty of people outside your niche.

What is the common theme?  There isn’t one!  And yet the Cllck Factor is undeniable.  How is the Click Factor working for you?  Is there any rhyme or reason to your online relationships?

Srinivas Rao is a contributing writer to {grow}. You can read more of his original writing at The Skool of Life blog or listen to his podcast at BlogcastFM. Follow him on Twitter at @skooloflife

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