How are you using your social networks?
Are you just a friend collector, or do you really want to get to know the people you’re networking with online? Do you use Facebook, for example, for the same reason you use Twitter?
I’ve been flitting around in the social media space since November 2008, when a grad school colleague invited me to Facebook. Since then I’ve taken a huge interest in some of the more popular social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Delicious, YouTube, and now this blog. And these seven are about all I have time for right now.
What fascinates me are the similarities and differences between the social networks, and how quickly these networks can connect us all.
I’ve networked professionally through organizations like Ad Fed and the Columbus AMA. Before the Internet, offline (face-to-face) was the only way to network with people. There were no profile updates, friend requests, clicking on links, or checking out someone’s profile.
In the ’90s networking was a long process. You had to join an organization. I’ll use Ad Fed as my example. Attending monthly meetings or events wasn’t enough to get to know people. You had to volunteer, join a committee, get involved. Getting involved meant spending an hour or two a week going to committee meetings, accepting assignments, and working together on projects for the organization. The time spent contributing to the team was the quality time you had to get to know people.
Today there are all kinds of channels to connect with people online. In fact the number of social networks out there is rather overwhelming. I use some of my online networks as tools to eventually connect offline. For me, each social network has its own purpose.
In future posts I’ll discuss some of the social networks I use, and the different reasons I have for using each one. Which social networks do you use and why? Do you have a different objective for each one? Different target audiences? Are you on Twitter for the same reasons you are on LinkedIn? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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