Social Networks have become the signature word of the second incarnation of the Internet. The first incarnation being the development of hyperlinks and the the hypertext mark-up language – which literally made it possible for several documents to link to and from several others.
The second incarnation – christened web 2.0 by Tim O’Rilley – first was about user generated content and now user connection that defies space and time.
Social Networks seem the future of the internet and the people using it.
Social networks give increasing power to people and organisations to:
(1) create their second selves or multiple selves- the perception they want others to have of them – and maintain this/these
(2) provide and be presented relevant information – a sieve to sort important information from the current overload and a funnel to ensure only the sieved information gets to you or your targeted audience.
The Networks and you can use them
(Not in anyway an exhaustive list)
Perhaps the definition of the word ‘Social Network’ has come to be the biggest gathering of people globally. Initially only popular amongst young people, it has seen use grow dramatically amongst the elderlies (40 – 55 year olds) and more dramatically amongst institutions (from small NGOs to large corporations)
How to use
(1) Follow the flow, follow your mind – there are no rules, creativity is your only limitation.
(2) People: Create a profile, talk about what you do, talk about what you like to do, list your favourite online spots
(3) Organisations: Create a page, talk about what you do, talk about what you like to do, point to your website, announce every cool new tool/thing you have on your website, create snippets of your website using any of the Fb languages – I use fbml – , answer all questions in a timely manner, keep your visitors engaged – encourage and moderate but not censor, advertise – cool thing about this, only your target audience sees your adverts, only those really interested follows/clicks your ads and its double benefit for you: you funnel information to those who need it, you pay for only those you convert and make follow you. Only uncool thing: you have to work hard to ensure all potential converts are converted
(4) Groups: Create groups, encourage and moderate but not censor discussions
Twitter was the biggest thing of 2010 perhaps sharing that spot only with tablet PCs and Haiti’s earthquake.
Twitter is sms redefined – allows 160 characters per message (same as smses) but your messages can reach from one end of the earth to another
(1) Follow those who share your interests – a quick search of keywords will reveal some of these
(2) Expand your network – look at those who follow those you follow, chances are they also share your interest
(3) Follow those who follow you – wait there are spams, so look at the profile of each new follower and if your new follower has two tweets and follows 10,000 people and has been on twitter only a couple of hours – s/he is likely to be a computer code, let the alarm bell ring
(4) Say what you want to say and include an #tag – #tags help sort out what is being said about what
(5) Retweet ‘as is’ what you like or whatever aligns with your theories or believes or ideas
(6) Retweet with comments tweets that aligns or does not with your theories or believes or ideas
(7) Reply to all direct messages – a short thank you message has been known to kill no one
(8) Connect your twitter account to your Facebook account and LinkedIn account and that way you auto update three network with the same message and with one button
Is perhaps the largest non-career/discipline specific network in the world.
With over 50million professionals connected in small networks, the platform allows people and institution:
(1) Share their thoughts
(2) Recruit and be recruited
(3) Learn what is latest their areas of interests
How to use
(1) create your profile – be as honest as possible
(2) seek out those with similar interests – you are encouraged to connect with only people you know, thus you can consolidate your network on facebook and twitter here, by asking those you already know to join your network
(3) allow LinkedIn’s robot to scan your address books in order to find and connect with people you already know and have shared emails with
(4) Connect your twitter account to linkedIn
(5) Be careful what you say – potential recruiters and potential recruits (depending on what/who you are) are looking