Over the past weekend, I was privileged to present at a Writers Conference called “Write on The Sound” here in the Seattle area. My topic was Technology for Writers and it spoke to how writers can use things like blogs to help market their work.
One of the great questions asked during the presentation was “how many social sites like MySpace or Facebook should I sign up for and participate in for my work?”
We face the same question as Cubicle Warriors, don’t we? Should I have a blog, join LinkedIn, go nuts on Facebook — or forget the whole thing?
I don’t think you can forget the whole thing; that would hurt your career management networking. But, there are some criteria you can use to decide how you spend your time. Here’s mine:
- The audience is everything. You should spend time on the social sites that drive sales to your target market. If tween-something is your thing, then MySpace is your place. For Cubicle Warriors, it more often is career management blogs and places like LinkedIn and (my personal favorite, because it is a career management tool) Jibber Jobber.
- Your time is everything. You can only spend so much time focusing on your network. Make sure you are spending your time where it is easiest and gives you the most bang for your buck. What’s the easiest way to stay in contact with your work associates, past work associates and friends? That’s where you go.
- Know your criteria for accepting social connections with “friends.” And feel comfortable with the criteria.
My criteria for accepting connections are simple: I know you, have interacted with you, and believe that you “get it” in my definition of competence. If you do, you’re in. If you don’t, you won’t. Simple.
You might not agree with that definition, but that’s OK. I have to feel comfortable with the definition; you don’t. As I don’t need to feel comfortable with your definition of what makes a valued connection.
Electronic social networking will continue to increase in importance as the business of commerce becomes global and your best networking contacts are on the other side of the planet.
Knowing why you will connect with someone will make the difference in having a valued connection or merely someone on a list.