Social Networking

So, I have succumbed to FaceBook and Twitter.  I’ve been on LinkedIn and Plaxo for a while, but this Facebook thing is pretty amazing.

FB

I signed up for this today.  I don’t have the 600+ friends that my daughter has … but she is one of the 16 I do have, which is cool.  I’ve also connected with an old friend in Minneapolis, my sister in Long Island, my cousin’s daughter sent me a friend request, all in about 6 hours.

Frankly, I’m floored.

I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Facebook.  It does seem like EVERYBODY’s on it, and I haven’t even started to look at the groups and other things that I’m sure can make it an absolute time black hole.

But the other side is, I’m sure it can be a very effective and powerful networking and communications tool.  The speed with which people found me was pretty unbelievable, as was the speed at which I received responses I got from most of the handful of friend requests I sent from my Yahoo address book.

So we’ll see how this goes.  I have time right now to keep up with all 4 of the sites, but hopefully not for much longer.  I can see how, for college students and such, how this could become a real distraction to studying, or maybe get in the way of real face-to-face social interaction.  But some experts say kids my daughters’ age have literally re-wired their brains to be able to multi-task at level far beyond listening to a record player way too loud while studying in my room.  So much homework is done on a laptop these days, and there is likely always a chat window or Facebook session or some such thing open.

The other thing I’m curious to see is if it really helps with me in finding a job.  I’d always heard LinkedIn was Facebook for grownups, but I’ve also heard that LI Facebook is eating LinkenIn’s lunch.  That may be true in some demographics, but I think there are businesspeople who probably better suited to LinkenIn.  Others who are a little savvier to this whole social networking phenomenon than I am say they’re not as competitive as all that.  Use LinkedIn for your business networking, and facebook for family pictures and other “fun” stuff.  Since I’m on both, I’ll have anopportunity to see how that works.

But in the end, it’s about managing your message.  It goes without saying any more (but I’ll say it anyway) that you shouldn’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your mom, or a potential employer to see.  I feel the same way about this blog.  I’ve read a lot of blogs that, given my job search, I’m very glad I didn’t write, and we’ve all heard the horror stories about people not getting a job because of something that was posted online.

So, I’m interested in seeing how this goes.  If you decide to join one or both services, I hope you’ll connect with me.  Just let me know you saw the blog when you make the request.  I think I’ll enjoy it, but I’ve got to not let it distract me from the task at hand … finding or making the right opportunity to continue my career.  Like Travis McGee … I’m taking a chunk of my retirement now.  But I’m finding out something I really already knew:

I’m not ready to be retired.

Sig

–scene–

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1 Comment

Filed under Social Networking, Thoughts

One response to “Social Networking

  1. Hi Tom,

    Great insight, as usual. My advice to those interested in starting out with social media is to participate in services that have value for you. It may take some experimenting to determine where that is, such as, where you’re getting the most connections, or the most web traffic, or the most new customers/leads, or simply the most friends – whatever your goal is. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the “social” tools on the web. The pace of change is advancing faster than the pace of learning, so I think it’s nigh impossible to keep up with every new and shiny service. Ultimately, which service or tool is most comfortable and most meaningful for you?

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