Keeping in touch with ex-coworkers

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This weekend I met up with an old coworker.  We worked together about 5 years ago.  I know the reason we kept in touch was because we were similar.  We have similar interests and personalities.  It was clear we should be good friends.   Of course I have dozens of ex-coworkers.   But i only manage to keep in touch with the ones I like.  Whether that means personally, professionally, or just because they have good insight.  I know at some point, focusing on just the people I like, isn’t really helpful.  So how do you keep in touch with people that are valuable professionally, not just the ones you like?

I think social networking has done wonders for my ability to keep in touch with people.  Now I have a newsfeed with everyone’s happenings and current statuses.  I even know where they are.  No work required.  But how do you keep the ties, without seeming like a user?

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