Part II: Choose Wisely
There are literally thousands of sites that you can use for social networking. Some of them cater to specific interest groups such as an industry (technology, fashion, non-profit) or location (city, state, country), while others are diverse in their members’ interests and used for socializing on a global scale. Obviously everyone has heard of MySpace (www.myspace.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com). These two sites hold the Alexa Ranks of #6 and #8 most popular websites in the world–and for good reason. They have a set of characteristics which make them extremely valuable from a personal and professional standpoint. However, there are other networks that have similar characteristics and which are gaining in popularity.
Orkut.com (www.orkut.com) is a Google owned and operated social networking site that is coming up fast with an Alexa page rank of 11. Hi5.com (www.hi5.com), Friendster.com (www.friendster.com), and Skyrock.com (www.skyrock.com) are also in the top 50. It seems like there are unlimited options—and a Web 2.0 marketer may feel like a kid in a candy store with all these great sites to choose from.
But one of the most important elements to successful social networking is being consistent and really building your network based on personal interaction. All too often you see people creating profiles and logging in once a week to blast out a generic message to their network in a spam-like fashion. This is simply not going to get you anywhere in Web 2.0, and in fact, it is going to work to your detriment. One of the most important elements of social networking is the genuine connection that your contacts must feel for you and your company.
That means that unless you have unlimited time and resources, you need to be able to pick a small handful of networks and genuinely cultivate your contacts without wasting time. The question then becomes, “which ones are the best?” Join me tomorrow for Part III where I will discuss: “The Definition of a World-Class Network.”