Thursday, October 9, 2008

Getting a Handle on Social Networking.

As many of you will know I am getting to know my way around the Social networks that are on the Internet. I was involved in an interesting, real life, conversation about this the other day. One particular person kept saying. "But doesn't it waste alot of time?", then "Sounds like a time waster to me!", and then "What is the point?" and so on.
That got me thinking. I am not an expert on any of these social networking sites, as a matter of fact I consider myself a relative newbie. however I recognise that sites such as :
To name just a few, are certainly the way of the future if you want any kind of global presence for your business. I am finding these fantastic tools for getting to know colleagues from all around the world as well as to keep in touch with family and friends.
So just how do you stop yourself from getting "hooked", "addicted" or "Wasting time" on sites such as these.

1) Know your purpose - Have a reason for using these sites. For me it is business focused and a way to expand my professional networks. For a friend of mine it is purely personal and a fun outlet. So by recognising why you are using a particular site you can be focused when using them.

2) Schedule your time - Just as you would a  business networking event or fun social function. make a date. Set up times in your day, week or month to be on these sites and keeping up with your friends and Connections you have made. Then stick to those times, try not to get sucked into staying online too long.

3) Have strong "real world" networks - Do not forget your real flesh and blood "touchable" connections, Friends and family. It is vital to continue to pick up the phone, meet for a coffee, sit fro a face to face chat and go out to dinner. Nothing beats the real time connections we make with fellow human beings, make these your priority.

These are just a few simple strategies to keep in mind as you get into the online social networking world. I am still learning my way around many of these sites, but am certainly enjoying the benefits of my friends I have online. So do not be afraid to dip a toes into some of these websites. You never know who you may connect with and where it will take you.
I am off now to learn more about digg, RSS, wiki's,atom.........oh the list goes on.
If you happen to find me on one of those sites do not be afraid to say hi, and possibly add me as a friend.
happy Social Networking.

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