Social networks, are they part of your life?

30 05 2006

Social networks, if you’re familiar with this term it’s pretty safe to say that you are either a pioneer or new adopter of new computer technologies or are under 30 years old.

What’s a simple definition? 

A social network is a group that shares a common interest or goal and are connected to one another through this interest, currently this connection and interaction takes place via the internet. 

The basic idea behind social networks is that we have a lot in common with others who may live next door or several thousand miles away.  We might share the same profession, the same goals, hobbies, business interests, or religious and family issues, and until now we could never find a way to interact with them.  The internet and some clever entrepreneurs have now made it possible to contact, discuss, do business or even fall in love with these members of our “invisible community”.

These networks can be broadly sorted into two main groups; entertainment and business networks.  MySpace, Facebook, Friendster are example of social networks that are geared to (or embraced by) the under 25 age group. 

LinkedIn and Ecademy are examples of business oriented networks. 

Should you be try or be using social networking?  Absolutely.  It’s a tool that is gaining popularity in business and industry. 

It’s a great help to job seekers and a method to consolidate your existing contacts in one forum.  

Tips for successful social networking

  1. Look at several sites before signing up for one.  Start with one.  Do not give into the temptation to sign up for every site that shows up in your browser.
  2. Take the time to fill out all the required profile information, the more you add to your profile the more chance of success. 
  3. What is your objective in joining?  Make sure you define it, and maybe include it in your profile.
  4. Use the site.  Spend time each day or week exploring, using and searching the site.  
  5. You have to give to get.  Offer your products, services, expertise or assistance.
  6. Be careful of who you allow into your network.  Are you there to collect names or really dedicated to adding quality resources to your group?
  7. After 2 months, evaluate your results (or lack of), and determine if you wish to continue.  

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