advertisement
advertisement

10 Tips for Safe and Effective Social Networking

A brief respite from the web analytics thread…. In the last few days I have seen an alarming number of incidents related to carefree social networking that led to embarrassing consequences.  Therefore, it seems a particularly opportune time to offer some recommendations for safe and effective social networking, particularly when it comes to social networking for professional purposes:

A brief respite from the web analytics thread….

advertisement

In the last few days I have seen an alarming number of
incidents related to carefree social networking that led to embarrassing
consequences.  Therefore, it seems a particularly
opportune time to offer some recommendations for safe and effective social
networking, particularly when it comes to social networking for
professional purposes:

  1. Think
    twice before posting any information that you may one day regret
    – You
    have no idea where these posts will eventually land.   Bill Maher recently found this out when
    he mindlessly tweeted a “brain fart” about new coverage related to Haiti, and
    was surprised to hear it quoted later on “60 Minutes.”
  1. Don’t
    give away valuable data
    – You probably don’t own your posted
    information on social networking sites. While this is issue is still
    controversial, don’t post anything you want to “own.”
  1. Don’t
    post anything you might want to erase
    – Whatever you blog, post, or
    Tweet, is persistent. That means you can’t erase it; ever. If you think
    this is theoretical, you might want to check out the Internet Way Back Machine. While social
    networking data is not available from this site, it is representative
    of the technologies available to store digital data, including blogs and
    web sites.
  1. Be
    careful who you give your username and passwords to
    – There are a lot
    of good social networking and Twitter aggregation, notification, and
    monitoring services. I use a bunch of these and they provide valuable
    services. Many of these services need your social networking credentials
    to work. Be wary of who keeps these and where they are stored.  Read the fine print on the agreement
    before you fork over your username and passwords to companies you don’t
    know.
  1. Be
    selective in who you befriend online
    – there is a tendency to try and
    build as big a network as possible online. Think twice about who you add
    to your network.  Increasingly,
    online marketers are using social networks to “cut through the noise.” If
    you don’t want to be spammed, don’t add every Tom, Dick, and Harry to your
    network. On Twitter, feel free to block people you don’t want following
    you.
  1. Segment
    your online persona
    – pick the appropriate social venue for each type
    of social connection.  I find it
    useful to befriend professional acquaintances on LinkedIn and friends and
    family on Facebook.  Special
    networks, built upon tools like Ning,
    let you connect with people in a very specific and focused context. Since
    these are focused, these sites tend to be more valuable professionally
    than some of the catch-all networks.
  1. Segment
    your posts
    – send messages only to those people who you want to get
    your message. Social networks usually offer the ability to post to
    specific people or groups. Features like “Direct Message” and @ on Twitter,
    and the groups on Facebook, are particularly useful.
  1. Don’t
    spread yourself too thin –
    concentrate on a small number of social
    sites and tools where your “crowd hangs out.” Another rookie mistake is to
    try and join too many sites. There are only so many hours in a day; you
    will burn out if you spread yourself too thin.
  1. Don’t
    be a lurker
    – if you join a site, be active in some way. Offer
    valuable information.  By
    establishing yourself as someone with something to say, you provide value
    to other people; you become a source of good information and someone
    people will want to follow.
  1. Don’t
    waste bits
    – stay away from the “wow, it’s raining” today type of
    posts. This is just plain annoying. I don’t care if it is cloudy in Topeka and it just
    clutters up my space.  Big “turn
    off” in my opinion.
Next post, back to web analytics.

 

 

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

A technology strategist for an enterprise software company in the collaboration and social business space. I am particularly interested in studying how people, organizations, and technology interact, with a focus on why particular technologies are successfully adopted while others fail in their mission.

More