Are You a Creative Networker?

Are You a Creative Networker?

Only creative networkers make their work creative and nurture their networks.

I came up with the term creative networker as an alternative to “knowledge worker”, which is a bit outdated in my opinion. I think the term “creative networker” is better able to express that we’re moving into a creative economy and that almost all work we do is part of a network of people and activities.

A creative networker is a person who creates or grows unique value within a network of people, or someone who creates or grows the network in an original way for others to share value. Even better, it can be a person who does both.


  • A writer who only reports on the local news, with no original touch and no interaction with his readers, is not a creative networker.
    However, a writer who creates original content, self-publishes his own book, does his marketing with YouTube videos, and chats with his readers on Twitter, is a creative networker.
  • A wine seller who gets her wines from a local wholesaler, who only competes on price, and who adds no personal service, is not a creative networker.
    However, a wine seller who personally buys her wines from farmers, who competes on personal service, and who does her own marketing on Facebook, is a creative networker.
  • A taxi driver who only transports passengers from A to B, while playing annoying music and making tourists pay twice the regular fee, is not a creative networker.
    However, a taxi driver who collects stories from passengers, takes photos with them, offers them candies, and sends them an email afterwards, is a creative networker.

Anyone can make a decent living performing mundane activities for others. But it takes special people to make their work creative and nurture their networks. Those are the creative networkers.

Are you a creative networker?

p.s. The name of the taxi driver is Rodolfo Cutufia in Buenos Aires. He has dozens of agendas with comments and stories from his passengers, lots of photos, and plenty of articles about him in magazines and newspapers. It was the most inspiring taxi ride I ever had.

Are You a Creative Networker?

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  • Lisette Sutherland

    One example that came to mind when I read your article is when I worked for an experimental music venue in Nijmegen ( They had a mailing list of people who wanted to receive their (amazingly designed) event flyers via mail. Every time they sent a flyer to someone, they included something extra in the envelope: some candy, a bag tea, a nice note, etc.

    It was such a nice gratuitous gesture that built community and added a spark of fun.

    • jurgenappelo

      Nice example, thanks!

  • Alternativva

    Thanks Jurgen for this inspirational article! There aren’t many creative networkers around, are there? Nowadays it’s both easy and difficult to be unique, to find a niche. But we must have a small something, add a personal touch to everything we do. This will differentiate us from others. Your examples are simple and easy to apply, thus they show it’s not difficult to be creative. We just need to sit and think about what could be this “small touch” 🙂

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