But this life changing event was more than an isolated incident. I discovered my online "persona" so to speak. The advent of social networking brings a new level of transparency to the business world. People we do business with now have photos online, profiles at myspace or have their names listed in membership lists on the web. Suddenly, it has become easier to know more about the people behind the titles. This level of transparency brings with it questions of privacy, personal responsibility and the obvious benefits of networking. Even now, I am still discovering how to connect all these different online aspects of my life. I use myspace to connect with friends, LinkedIn to do business and Facebook for family links. But why keep those different areas of my life separate? I've done plenty of business with both friends and family. The challenge is learning how to use each of these tools in different ways.
So, I arrive here - tweaking and adding to my various online profiles at different social networking sites. Below is a list of different networks available and how they see themselves or how I am using them:
- MySpace - gained its notoriety with teens. I mostly use this site for connecting with friends - a profile of my more personal life. Because of the inherent personal nature of MySpace you need to connect on a more personal level. MySpace has a heavy music component and has helped launch many musicians.
- LinkedIn - a monster of a business networking site I am just learning to use. Here's a great article by Mario Sundar "10 ways to use LinkedIn"
- FaceBook -Facebook has brought privacy online! Due to its lack of public profiles (someone must be approved before reading details about you), my brothers, sisters, nieces & nephews have latched onto Facebook. I am mostly using Facebook for family connections.
- ActiveRain - THE social network for Realtors. Need I say anything else?
- Twitter - a service that lets you keep friends and family up to date on "What you are doing". I don't think I want to be that responsible to everyone I know!
- Jaiku - a social networking site that was recently acquired by google. It is similar to twitter - you keep friends up to date on what you are doing. Right now, you have to request an invite - probably because they are going through changes related to the acquisition.
- MeetUp - a way to connect to people locally who are interested in similar activities. Looking for someone to jump out of a plane with? Find them at meetup.com
- Lyro - similar to linkedin. A business community - but not as robust as linkedin. I found out about linked in after googling an old boss I was trying to connect with. I found his lyro card and sent him an email. He called me the same day!!
- Plaxo - just discovered this one tonight and joined. Their tag line "Connect your personal and professional life in one place". I basically copied and pasted everything from my linkedin profile.
- Pownce - unless you have friends on here already, I'm not sure why you'd join. Seems like a well designed site, but I just don't have the energy to join one more site tonight!
There are a lot more sites out there. A great resource is this list of social networking sites at wikipedia. Enjoy!