Post about "Social Networking"

Social Networking: Points to Ponder

Given my career background in IT, I still get excited with some of the new technology-creations people come up with and especially get intrigued when things kind-of mesh together so naturally. This means that somewhere behind the code, some really amazing brains created this ~ and this where Social Networking falls-in. Social Networking for me – is a well laid-out map linking (meshing) everyone together in its own mysterious way (for us developers we probably have more of an understanding of what’s needed to make this happen – but in the end; you either enjoy it or you don’t).Social Networking is still very primitive, from my point of view, I can see Social Networking moving technology in a whole new direction and potentially changing how people interact with the www (Internet) fairly similar to how Google changed how people searched online.Whether you are new or old to social networking tool it’s important to continue to stay aware of your online presence – being accessible 24/7 to the world. [Unless you've made all necessary security adjustments to prevent this - and still this point could be an argued.]Either way, here are some basic guidelines to review for those of us who have online presence:#1 Is this Business or Personal?When you decide to embark within the social networking bandwagon you’ll first need to have an email address. Be careful here which email address you use to register – your registration email choice can have an impact on your business-ethics, or could pretty much potentially cost you your job!If you are using a social networking site (of your choice) for personal usage, however if you choose to use a work-related email address, just ensure that you are aware of your organization’s policies and/or verdict on Social Networking usage at work guidelines (if any). Pleading the “naive” card doesn’t always ring well with companies – know what your boundaries are and use them wisely.If your aim is to use social networking sites for personal use – then by all means, use your own personal email address and if you don’t have one, get one! There are countless sites out there that you can register yourself with that will provide you with FREE email access.Other points to ponder related to #1 is to do some house-cleaning. Once your account is created and that you now have an online presence, not just right now but continuously proceed with doing some house-cleaning of this account. Dust doesn’t accumulate as quickly online as it does in my living room but it can get messier faster since I “kind-of” really don’t see it?! What am I talking about?…If you don’t want to start receiving (or increase your already existing) SPAM email counts, you’ll have to decide what it is you wish to share with the public (a.k.a. the entire world).First decide if you wish to make your email address visible on this new social networking site, and if you do – should it be visible to everyone or only to selected few?Second – go through your social networking site’s settings / options and review all of its settings and options. I’m 100% sure you’ll find some very interesting things here; similar to when you decide to move your sofa to do some “real” cleaning… you always find ‘stuff’ here don’t-cha?!OK so what to look for… check for setting that will send you email notifications. Do you really want to receive an email every time someone interacts with your social networking site? If not, then by all means – disable these unnecessary notifications! Especially if you’ve registered using your work-related email account! Hello! IT will be knocking on your door (or cubicle) anytime – your dozen if not hundreds of notifications (which are basically spam messages) are taking up room in the email system and is using up what we IT people call useless bandwidth….You’re going to be checking your social networking site anyways so why have redundant messages telling you the same thing you’ll be seeing when you log-in to the site?!There are countless other sections I could drill into but once you open-up this beast take time to tame it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how manageable social networking sites can be – but don’t just open this section up once! Return to your options; settings; security; privacy… whatever it’s call – fairly frequently. I make it a challenge to check my settings on my sites at least every 3 months (quarterly).#2 Friends / AssociatesChoose wisely! Friends are the links between you and people. This is what Social Networking sites are based on. The more the merrier (for them!).What should you do and/or not do?Well first the obvious – don’t go “hitting” on your friends’ friends. This is a “no-no”. If you wouldn’t flirt with random people when walking through the mall, then why would things be any different when you are hiding behind your social network profile? This goes the same for “poking” – please “poke” carefully. Sometimes what you think is done in good fun or what you think is a simple “Poke – Hey, how’s it going?”, could turn High-School drama on you in a split second!Another area is counts – some people think it’s important that they have a high number of Friends in their list. They know everyone!…sure you do!? That’s why you’re at home Saturday night “creeping” people’s profiles… [sarcasm gets the better part of me at times, I don't stop it cause I like it!...what's that old saying, "If you can't take the heat then get out of the kitchen!"]Just because you and Jo-Blow like the same song on YouTube doesn’t mean you should request him to become your friend. If you think you’ve got more than ‘a song’ in common and would like to ‘get-to-know-each-other’ then send him a private message. This way, if he chooses to ignore you (which is fine – really cause liking the song “Don’t-cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me” doesn’t mean he’s looking?!). Sending someone a private message puts the “ball” in their court and presents them with the choice of either “playing” or “turning down” the opportunity. In your private message you can then also state what your intentions are (ex. common interests; live in the same community; participate some similar sports; go to the same University maybe we could meet up for lunch and discuss Philosophy?…).#3 Think Before you Post!Back in my day, people didn’t just shout out (yes out-loud) randomly “statuses” during class, or at work, or while walking down the street!? Today, social media sites and social networking sites make “shouting” so easy that it’s almost an obsession. “I need to tell people what I’m doing/thinking right now cause my pose online is just dying to know!”… ya I sit here waiting for you to update your status… sure if I were stalking you! Yes it’s nice to get updates and get interaction with people ’cause that’s what “social networking” is all about, however choose your messages wisely, and especially how you wish to share them.Example – Mary-Lou wants to throw her husband a surprise party. She broadcasts the event on Facebook to let everyone know when and where. Mary-Lou didn’t check her Facebook account notifications and so all of her notifications are still “active”. Her husband checks their email account, and voila get to read everyone’s comment about his upcoming party.–> Bad judgment on Mary-Lou’s part. <--Another example - Betty-Jo thinks Susan & her husband are having issues. Instead of posting her concerns on Susan's Facebook wall (which might be public to everyone to read) she sends her a Private message. Susan replies back and let's Betty-Jo know that, "no, not everything is fine - John's work is just going through some restructuring so he's a little depressed at the moment, but we're seeing a therapist to help us cope with this. Thanks for your concern." --> Good judgment call on Betty-Jo’s part. <–Other common-sense “faux-pas”:Spamming people
Flame wars (don’t argue publicly online)
Keep it PG 13
Busy-bodies exist everywhere, even online (some people just live for drama!)#4 PrivacyDon’t forget to check your privacy settings regularly. As stated in rule #1 – Return to your options; settings; security; privacy… whatever it’s call – fairly frequently.Be aware of what it is you are forward-facing out publicly. Is it too much? Is it inappropriate? If you are friends (online) with all of your work colleagues, and at the same time are bashing your work or your boss… how long do you expect this to go on prior to them finding out?#5 What’s your Purpose / Mission?Are you promoting something? Are you selling something? Is your site topic specific? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe creating a social networking site specific for your business or product would be more appropriate. You could have two sites, one for personal usage and one more topic/business related. You could even create “Fan Pages” so that some of your friends can acknowledge your product or topic and provide feedback without seeming like your friendship is intertwined with you topic/business.Bottom line, social networking sites can be fun and are full of “did you know…” gossip-like details. Social networking site’s “news feeds” will pretty much (one-day) replace our local papers and who knows maybe even tv and radio live-media sources. Everything will just be online since news is shared faster (in live-time) this way and can be changed/updated in real-time. No make-up prep; hairdressers; cameramen; lighting; and all that jazz… heck maybe even our taxes will go down, yeh right?!…Was worth the mention, right?!Just remember – whatever you choose to do online, choose wisely. It’s easy to forget the picture you posted of your friend in high school puking in the backyard [cause that was funny??] – only to find it 8 years later, re-posted online by someone else just when he/she is completing his/her Political Science degree. Think about it…What you think is funny, is it REALLY? Would you go out of your way, print this out and send it as a postcard to your friend in Australia, and would they actually laugh about it, really?!Be smart. Think twice. And remember, do onto others what you would want done to you. If you wouldn’t want someone to share something about you, then by all means – don’t share it about them. If you wish someone would have “minded-their own business”, then mind your own too (or if you are really concerned, contact them directly – privately.)Social Networking – use at your own discretion….I think if you read some of the fine print, in the terms of agreement – somewhere – it states that you should have some common sense to use their product…, I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere…;-)

Drive Traffic to Your Website Using Social Networking

There are so many ways to drive traffic to your website that it can be overwhelming to the point that you don’t know were to start. Well I find it easier to break it down into two categories, There are ways to drive traffic to your site that are FREE and there are ways that you have to pay for. Both are very effective but it depends on what is in your wallet, especially if you are just starting out. So of course I would choose free first, the free method that I find very profitable is Social Networking.A large number of internet users belong to at least one social network website.When it comes to social networking, there are many people who think of online friendships or online relationships. While these types of relationships are the most common, did you know that social networking is also used for businesses? In fact, that was originally how it got started. If you are a small business owner, especially one that operates an online business, there is a way that you can use social networking sites to your advantage.There are networking sites that are designed for business owners. These websites will not only allow you to share your business information with other business owners, but it will also allow you to develop close relationships with those that share an interest that is similar to yours. Essentially, this means that you could not only learn valuable business information, but you could also walk away with a new business partner or a new friend.Social networking allows the smaller businesses to grow as they are able to reach a larger amount of people with using these network mediums at a lower cost. However, it also allows the bigger companies to take advantage of the social networking to extend to a larger volume of customers, as well.Examples of this are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, this type of media has now increased to a volume of global social networks, which means that advertisement can extend to a broader range of customers because they are able to have multiple languages.If you are using your online website to make money with advertising programs, such as affiliate programs or Google AdSense, you may need to approach social networking websites in a different way. Since you will not necessarily have a particular product or service to focus on, you will need to approach these websites as if they were personal websites. If your website discusses being a cat owner, it would be a good idea to state your love for cats in your profile. After doing so, it would be acceptable and not necessarily considered spam to add a link to your online website. As with all other types of online websites, social networking websites should help to increase the number of page views your website receives. In most cases, more page views mean more clicks which means more money for you.Social Networking only works if people are drawn to it. So depending on what topic or niche that you are trying to promote on the social networks is going to depend on whether it’s a hot topic at that particular time. The goals that you are trying to accomplish are: an increase in link-ability, easy book marking, mash-up, inbound links, and helping content travel.Rule of thumb is you want to make sure that you participate with your users, you want to be active on blogs and the message boards. know your target audience. You need to know what appeals to a particular group of people. It is important to remember that not everybody will love you.I mentioned mash-up earlier, for those who never heard of the term or you don’t really know what it means, it is to combine content from more than one source into one experience. A mashup can be used to gather feedback on a project your working on whether it’s a website, blog or an article.Social networking websites are also popular because they come in a lot of different formats. Websites like Yahoo! 360 and MySpace focus on a wide variety of different topics. This means that just about anyone can join. However, there are other social networking sites out there that have a particular focus. These focuses may be on a particular religion, political following, or hobby. Most specialty social networking sites restrict the individuals that can participate in their network; thus, making your experience more enjoyable.Social networking websites can benefit all website owners, especially those who are looking to make a profit with their websites. This can be done one of two ways, by selling something or by relying on revenue from advertising. If you have a website that is selling products or services, you might find it easier to use social networking sites to your advantage. This is because, if you wish, you could do product or service spotlights. You could also showcase one of the products or services that your website sells. This could either be done right on your profile page or on a blog page, which is provided by most social networking websites.As you can easily see, there are a number of different ways that you can promote your online website, no matter what type of website you have or what you use it for. By keeping the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to see an increase in your page views, in no time at all.