It's not about who you know in this digital age.

In which Jill explains that it's not who you know; it's who THEY know.

In which Jill explains that it's not who you know; it's who THEY know.

Somewhere in your business or personal life, you’ve pitched an idea and were told: “I can’t...but I know someone who can.” That sentence could represent the future of animal rescue.

Research has shown that in the professional world, it’s not your friends who will help you, it’s their friends. These so-called “loose connections” are likely to be farther afield than your actual friends—geographically as well as even philosophically or politically. But it’s these people who might have a greater likelihood of helping you get an animal outta the cage and into its forever home.

Let’s face it. Animal rescue can be an echo chamber. We share at-risk shelter animals with the same people, who reliably share them with the same people, and so on. If I count the number of saves I’ve been involved with, it’s amazing how many times the people who end up adopting or fostering a dog I’ve videoed are strangers to me. I make sure to friend or follow those people on social media. After all, they’re more likely to know people I don’t.

I’ll admit to being comfortable with my social media tribe. Nevertheless, I’ve given myself a stretch goal: I tag someone I don’t know on every dog I share. 

A Facebook friend of mine, Laurie, adopted one of my video dogs. A few months later, Laurie shared another one of my video dogs with her brother Billy. Billy went and adopted the dog. That was three years ago. And I still get pictures of Daisy sleeping under the blankets or laying in a hilarious pose. I guess I now consider Billy a friend. Which means he’s no longer a loose connection.

But he knows people. It's not about who you know in this digital age. It's about who we know. Hey Billy, check out this dog!

Outta the Cage