One of the most important things I found for myself as a blogger is a way to connect with others, those who would be potential readers for my blogs. Back in 2006 I joined the Social Site Twitter on the advise of Robert Scoble, Tech Blogger extrodiare.
It was my first foray into Social Media , and I can tell you it was a hoot to learn. I am now a follower of over 330 people and have 319 followers. This tally matters because it allows you to be what I call a fly on the wall in some of the most amazing conversations. And also, as you connect with people you become associated with them and the projects they are working on. As you friend people, you can ask questions and get a real learning experience as well.
I am also a user of Plurk. I just started this but already have made a few friends and my ‘karma’ is going up. Karma allows you more control over what your Plurk homepage looks like as well as what types of CSS can be rewritten by you the user. The Plurk folks describe the Karma as a calculation of your use, with various degrees of “enlightenment”.
I am in the process of trying to up my Karma by updating my profile, lurking quality plurks ( same as tweets in respect of posting) and also inviting my friends. If your interested in joining , let me know!
Another social medium I love is Stumble upon. With Stumble upon you are able to post your favorite blogs, posts, videos what ever you find. You get associated with others who find your favorites interesting and you have total control over your content. Another great way to get readership for your own blog posts!
Instagram is another social media platform used by millions of people across the globe. It is now considered as one of the giant social networking platforms. This is why new tools are being developed to help IG users even further such as https://instaprivateviewer.com.
So, these are two of the better known and most easy to use Social Sites, there are a few others also worthy of mention such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Flickr, and a really neat site my kids love called Gaia. Facebook is the best I have found out of the major three meeting places. It is very easy to start up with and afford you great control over who can join your pages, and what they can and can have access to. I love the ability to meet other people who have the same interests as I do. I am currently using it to look for people who want to help support our troops via the new organization JR4OT.org that I am on the board of directors of. And Facebook does have the fun stuff to do, such as list your favorite music and movies and you can invite friends to join from your email. I purposely left out Myspace as I feel its geared more to the younger crowd and very hectic feeling.
For those who love photography, Flickr is the way to go. I joined Flickr back in 2006 , also on the word of Robert Scoble and have been a serious user ever since. No matter what photographs you might be looking for, they can be found at Flickr. And you can find groups to join listed by state, topic of interest or from the Interestingness page. I make sure to check that page each day, because that is where you will find the best of Flickr shown.
For the younger hipper crowd I suggest Gaia Online. Gaia lets you choose an avatar and place your blog- like content on a special page that belongs to you. I watch my kids work on their codes each day and its great for those who want to learn how to do template work and graphics. I have not joined this one yet, but I have a feeling if I can find an extra few hours in my day, I will eventually join it. It seems to be really fun for the users with non of the harsh restrictions I noticed at NeoPets.
So now I have outlined a few of the better known Social Networking Sites, what can they do for you? If you blog these sites can become your best friend after Google’s Labs page. What I mean is, you can use these sites to gain readership for you’re blog, find others who are into the same topics or lateral topics.
I have been able to gain quite a few readers who have now become dedicated to coming to my blog and following me on my other projects. I have been able to use two blog sites, MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog to introduce my newest Blog, 98.5 KOME ~ ROCKs. I have been able to locate with ease other Music Bloggers and form friendships which will work well for each side. I get readers and so do they! So those are two more websites that can help.
Another reason Social Networking Sites are of benefit is the ranking issue. The more you use sites such as Twitter or Friendfeed you gain rank for those pages. Then you are able to attach the Social Site to your blog, providing you with a incoming link of high rank. This is really important to newer sites just starting out.
Since I have joined these services I have been I introduced to many people some of whom have become partners in various projects I have worked on. Others have used my Research Services, and provided me with a clientel to place in my resume. And still other people have become friends which is also a great benefit of these sites. Imagine having friends from all over the world, beats being a pen pal in the old days. Sometimes if your lucky, you actually find a account for a actor or Music Band and that gives some neat stuff to add into a post on your blog as well.
It is important that you keep your safety in mind when deciding to join a social Networking site. Never give your personal information out to strangers, and if you get any emails that look like they are official emails from your new service, do not click any links in that email but instead go sign into your account and talk to a person from the customer service department. Also, there are sadly people who want to take advantage of newer users of these sites so beware and do not become personal friends with anyone until you have had time to get to know them and feel comfortable.
If you’re teens or younger children wish to join these sites I advise your being the account owner so that you are fully aware of who they might be talking with or viewing. Some of these sites are not for the younger kids and do not have parental controls so its best you check the networking website out first so you can be aware of what the children will be exposed to.
All in all, Social Networking is a great tool for business and personal use and can add benefits to your business projects. So sign into a few from this list here at the Social Networking Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_sites) and have fun!