Monday, January 26, 2009

What Happens When you Take the 'Social' out of Social Networking?

What happens when the 'Social' gets left out of Social Networking?

Well, the answer is P.O.'d people. This I know from experience as both the receiver and being flamed when I did it myself without being aware. There is an etiquette that is expected in networking. Often, I have experienced this etiquette and respect at 'live' networking events. However, many I have found, are not carrying this to the on-line community.

When I first got the inspiration to work from home, start a business and change my life – I was excited! And rightly so, I might add. The courage to move out into the 'unknown' is immense. The amount of courage didn't matter though. I was going to make it – no matter what! So, I began placing my website link in forums, on social networking sites, and sending out all kinds of email broadcasts.

Guess what? I learned pretty quickly that this is not the way to go. I succeeded in getting myself 'out there', but not in the mindset I wanted. I was coming off as a spammer. I was extremely upset as I began to have people 'un-subscribe' to my hard work and as I read negative comments about my forum posts. I had to start over.

Then, I discovered Facebook.

For me, this was a way to keep in contact with my friends back home in Canada. When I discovered that I could build my on-line presence with it, I found my niche. I was ecstatic! Now I had a platform that could build the foundation for my upcoming business and help me stay in the loop. Further, as I learn new things, I now share them with others - which happens to be a personal passion of mine.

Then, the questions starting pouring in. How do I do this? How do I make friends? How do I create pages? The list seemed endless. However the biggest question is that of making friends – legitimate ones.

Here's my advice.

If I invited you to a cocktail party at my house and the only person you knew there was me, how would you introduce yourself to all the other guests? I would be busy being the host, so you would be on your own. You obviously wouldn't say, “my name is …. and my website will now be receiving my newsletter”. So, why in the name of Heaven would you do it on-line?!? A lot of the people you want to reach do not know you, so take the time to think about how you would approach them in person. Carry that on-line, and you will be much more successful. Find the people who share the same ideas and passions that you do. Talk to them, and be honest that you want to expand your circles with 'like-minded' people. There is a lot to be said for honesty and integrity.

Remember that Social Networking has the word “social' in it for a reason.

As for face-to-face's my advice on that:

Ditto to the above.

When you get it, and we become 'like-minded', let me know. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee. That coffee, by the way, is available in person, or while I am still in my PJ's on-line.

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