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Social Networking a go-go

August 3, 2007

In my last post, Facebook vs. MySpace « Confessions of an IT Girl, Constance took the time to post comments and they seemed worthy of a blog entry of their own.

To take a step back, I’ve been playing with Facebook and Myspace, and in reality, it’s been just that.  Myspace was fun at first, but in reality, it’s hard to get any sort of meaningful professional or even personal message out on the site.  Not just from the look and feel being more juvenille than what you can present in a proper skin on Blogger or WordPress, but from all the ads that scream out at you.   Yes, you can have a blog on Myspace, but it’s cumbersome and as a business person, it doesn’t come off very well.  I’m sure there are ways to promote books through the site, but it’s better suited to an author wanting to do it herself rather than a publisher advertising a line of wares. 

Facebook seems like more than a place to blow off steam right now.  The application development seems promising – I can envison setting up an app to “throw” a book at someone that has a bunch of Dummies books to choose from.  It’s cutesy, but again, not something that I can forsee using for a lot of professional networking or promotion.  I think if you are promoting a book or a series, you have to take a look at the audience you are trying to reach, and if they are on one or another, that’s where you have to be.  If they’re on both, it’s more of a call as to whether you dilluate yourself and your message by being on both.  For my personal fun or whatever you want to call it, Myspace seems like so much work, so it’s going to happen organically that I spend more time on Facebook as I continue to evolve my online presense. 

The social networking site that is billed for professional networking is LinkedIn, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what purpose it serves.  I’ve set up networking, been introduced to new people, but for what gain?  Book promotion? Not at all.  No way to see if someone is a reader or not.  Career networking?  Maybe, but the search feature doesn’t work efficiently enough to find someone in my desired line of work to make a contact (if I wanted to, which I don’t).  I’ve ended up with a list of 50 or so people I am “connected” to.  I’ve looked at who they are connected to, to see if there is a contact that someone could make for me, which is billed as a key feature of LinkedIn.  It still doesn’t seem like something I couldn’t do for myself, on or off line.  I really feel like there is more to it that I am missing, but there seems to be no “there” there.  If anyone feels that they are using it effectively, and to a purpose that it is billed to fulfill, PLEASE let me know. 

So, I come back to “Confessions”.  This blog seems to be the place where I can have the most impact with my professional and personal goals.  I can talk about my job, if anyone cares to read about it; interact with colleagues and customers; and in general, have a lot more flexibility than any other social networking site offers.   I’ve struggled for a while with what I want this blog to be, and hearing from others at BlogHer taught me that the best thing to do is to get in there and start writing.  I’ve had a personal family blog for almost a year now, and that’s gotten me into the habit of thinking and writing, which has been a warm up for this blog. 

At this point, anything that gets me thinking, writing, and thinking more is a really good thing. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2007 6:06 pm

    It’s overwhelming! I barely have enough time to manage a blog, much less a gazillion social networking sites. I just joined Facebook as well for a work research project. I must say I agree the lack of spam, slow-loading pages, flashing nonsense and other MySpace irritants is refreshing.

  2. August 4, 2007 2:07 am

    I agree with you about Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook is juvenile, uselessly drags you to the site to see ads if you want to collect mail, and is a hotbed of spammers. I saw that Joe was at LinkedIn, along with a few other names I recognized, but nothing really happens.

    I was interviewing a well-known PR guy who was trying to say that social networking sites will supplant blogging, but I don’t see it.
    –Mike

  3. August 4, 2007 3:18 am

    Interesting comments! Now I see where you were going.

    The only social networking site that I find entertaining and somewhat addictive is Goodreads.com. Ellen, you would enjoy this too! However, I would definitely have enjoyed Facebook when I was in college because I spent a lot of time enjoying to the physical version that inspired the virtual entity. It was a yearbook assembled by Harvard the summer before freshman year, then given to every freshman, and it contained photo (mostly the standard HS senior picture) of each freshman plus address and high school. We used it religiously, and I still have mine to this day!

  4. August 13, 2007 2:16 pm

    Note this mention in today’s Boston Globe – I guess referring to a story in Business Week: http://www.boston.com/business/personaltech/articles/2007/08/13/robbing_the_cradle/
    You will also appreciate what this woman says in her column about reading to your child being better than any toy!

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