Phil Agre has an article on networking on the internet for Ph.D Students. There are many general principles there that are quite interesting, and far too many to summarize in a brief post.
One nice excerpt:
Most people get socialized into institutions such as the research world without anyone ever explaining how the institutions work. For example, few PhD students ever get explicit lessons on the sorts of career strategies that I have been explaining in this article. What is more, the social world is filled with unspoken rules that keep these things hidden, for example the taboo against boasting or the imperative of explaining one's motives in terms of the general good rather than in terms of self-interest. These unspoken rules help people to get along, but they also make it much harder for average PhD students in complex professional interactions to figure out what is really going on. Most students do acquire up some insight from watching the experts, but they usually do not develop a complex theory like the one I have been explaining here. As a result, they often perceive their social environment in a relatively superficial way.
Pointer chase: Michael Nielsen -> Daniel Lemire -> Phil Agre.
All the above links spin off some interesting reading. In particular, Nielsen's ongoing series on the principles of effective research has some insightful thoughts.