Social Networking – The Options are Endless

Those of you who follow me on Twitter, are friends with me on Facebook or linked to me on LinkedIn will know that I am a big Twitter fan. I tweet A LOT! And often. About many different things – work-related articles, my own photography or photography in general, fell walking, etc.  I realise that different portions of that content will be of no interest to different groups of those people I’m connected to.

So, the quandary I had (and many people who have a varied web presence may also have) was how best to separate the professional content from the personal stuff.

Twitter has become the lynch pin in my Social Networking “strategy”. I can tweet direct (and in some cases automatically) from nearly all the web sites I use regularly using a variety of plug-ins to distribute the content as I see fit to…

  1. Facebook – I use an application called Selective Tweets to import my content with a hash tag of #fb into my Facebook profile.  Facebook emerged out of pure social networking.  However, it is slowly developing a business-oriented facet but this is proving difficult because of the apparent laissez faire attitude accorded 3rd party app developers when it comes to 1) users’ data; & 2) malware embedded in those same apps. Facebook doesn’t help its cause any by regularly upsetting its user base, changing the layout and the configuration of its default security settings, often in favour of those same app developers and without consulting its user base. We give so much of ourselves to that information-hungry monster and this is how we are repaid! Respectable business will always shy away from such volatile unpredictability simply because of the security risks and the personal data processing regulations involved.
  2. LinkedIn – I use the Tweets application to import my content with a hash tag of #li into my LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn is VERY business-oriented and totally geared toward professional networking and collaboration. Though fairly formal, there’s no old boys club (that I can see) and you can extract far more business knowledge from the variety of groups available than you have to submit. Although, if you are reaping such benefits, it is human nature to put something back.
  3. Twitter has a foot firmly planted in both camps, with a genuine mix of social and commercial networking and self-promotion. Basically, your Twitter experience is entirely of your own making, i.e. not thrust upon you with the aim of controlling your entire (online) world view. Moreover, if you don’t like your current Twitterverse, changing it is so much easier to do. A new list here; some new Follows there…

I do have a Google+ profile but I’m struggling to wrap my head around how best to use it.  I think that until it acquires a critical mass of users, it’s always going to be playing catch-up but now that signing up is open to all…

So!  That’s how I do it.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on any of the above, your approach to Social Networking or if you have any other related comments…

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