Web Sites Offer Access to Mentors

Web Sites Offer Access to Mentors - http://online.wsj.com Avatar Posted by JohnH under Resources
From http://online.wsj.com 4208 days ago
Made Hot by: on June 9, 2008 3:25 pm
MicroMentor, which has made nearly 700 mentor matches since it started in 2001, is one of a growing number of Web sites that allow prospective mentors and protégés to easily find each other. Usually, each party creates a profile detailing his or her mentoring needs or expertise that can be viewed by others. Once a match is made, the mentoring can take place through email, instant messaging, Web conferencing or over the phone.

This approach allows small-business owners to tap the expertise of people they might not otherwise meet, especially those who live hundreds or thousands of miles away. Online mentoring also can save time by allowing people to quickly get to the point. Emailing questions and answers, for instance, forces them to lay out their issues in a concise and clear fashion.

Still, some experts caution that online mentoring isn't always an ideal substitute for a face-to-face relationship. That is because it doesn't as easily allow people to build trust and exchange body-language cues and other nuances that only meeting in person allows. Also, miscommunications can happen via email or instant messaging that disrupt the relationship. And some people worry that it isn't necessarily safe to reveal information about business plans to someone you have never met.





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