I read an article today in Fortune magazine that discussed websites devoted to 'social networks'. The article gives a concrete example of how Joi Ito now uses LinkedIn.com to vett out people seeking him out for business networking purposes. He's signed on to the network, and so have friends of his. Someone new trying to reach Mr. Ito may do so through one of his friends on the network - but only with the approval of that friend.
In my time doing free-lance work, nearly all of my business, and certainly the best projects, has come through word-of-mouth. South Florida has a small enough technical community that reputation matters, and a good one is preferred! But it would be great to add some organization to this process, and this seems like an appropriate tool.
So networking technology has come full circle, and brought online the older use of the term 'networking'. I think this is a great idea, and plan to get myself and my friends involved.