Online Social Networks- The Professional and Personal Value

The latest craze nowadays is creating a profile online. There are so many social media networking websites to do that. Some professional websites include www.linkedin.com and www.twitter.com. On the personal side, websites such as www.myspace.com and www.facebook.com are also hot social networks.

What is a social network?

Wikipedia defines “Social Network Services” as A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.

Professional Networking

LinkedIn

On the professional level, LinkedIn has been a valuable asset. My standard process whenever I receive a business card from another professional, I immediately invite them on my LinkedIn account as a business colleague.

Once a contact has accepted my “friendship”, they will have access to all of my information, such as my expertise, current projects, and my contacts. LinkedIn has a number of resources to continue to add value. There are Groups within the site. Within these groups, you can participate as an Alumni, Association, Ex-Employee (Microsoft and some other larger companies have groups created under this), Local chapters (I am a member of the Milwaukee LinkedIn Group).

A valuable resource is the Q/A section. Site users post a question in any category. These categories range from very specific industry questions, such as Internet Marketing, to very general questions, such as How to use LinkedIn. Any site user can post a question, as well as answer a question. Participating in the Q/A section of this site helps to build your credibility in your field, as well as get your name out their on the WWW.

Personal Networking

One the personal level, I have profiles on www.facebook.com and www.myspace.com. Both of these sites have been valuable to me because I was able to reconnect with some friends from my childhood and teenage years. It was great to chat online for a while and then meet up in person. Both Facebook and MySpace allow you to search for individuals by high school or college name and even graduation year.

What networks do you find valuable?

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