I love reading Tim Sanders' stuff. He has great ideas on many things but I especially love his ideas for building your network. He recently shared an idea about 'shuffling your network':
"I love IPOD's shuffle feature: It takes my entire playlist (5000 plus songs) and randomly plays them for me. I re-discover old tunes, fall in love with new ones and am constantly surprised and delighted by the shuffle's results.You should also check out this great idea he had about Googling yourself.
Try this with your network of personal relationships. Whether you use a Roladex or Outlook, you have hundreds of contacts just waiting to be randomly contacted (shuffled). In many (or most) cases, you haven't talked to these contacts in a looooooong time.
Here's how to do it: Open your personal address book, pick any letter and a number between 1-20. Go to that letter of you book, and count down that number. Pick up the phone and call that person. Don't pretend you have a reason to call them, just contact them and catch up.
Do this once each day this week. This will put you in touch with five of your network nodes, for no particular reason. You'll be surprised how often there is business there, just waiting for randomness to help you find it. At the very least, it keeps your network fresh and vital as you either update, delete or refresh contacts in your book."