Networks are great whether face-to-face or virtual ones. They allow different takes of the same topic to be heard, shared and discussed. Having said that, I am one of the introverted people for whom the one-to-one contact is more productive than the one in a crowd. I've readhttp://tinyurl.com/4yengue and have added "Networking for people who hate networking:..." to my Kindle wishlist.
Earlier this year I reactivated my CILIP membership, it had expired after I'd completed my MA. I've signed up again to get on the Chartership programme and as an add-on there was the potential for practical development which I still have to realise (main obstacles being costs, time and relevance to my current position - library assistant).
It is only since I've started with CPD23 that I've started exploring the possibilities of networks beyond CILIP.
Now I'm signed up to a few networks (LISNPN, WebJunction) and have added a few comments here and there but still not brave enough to start a new topic for discussion. There are still a number of "Things" to get through, more tools to get used to....thing 8 here I come!