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SOCIAL Networking = WORK Networking = LIFE Networking

Facebook is known as a social networking site and is first known as just that: a social network. However, while viewing Jenny Spadafora's VoiceThread presentation, I developed a sense that social networking sites like Facebook are not just a social network but more than that. Furthermore, the chat that I attended tonight (Thursday 1/31) further developed my sense that they could be used as powerful work tools to connect with colleagues. In addition, Judi Sohn lays it out really well on using facebook professionally at http://webworkerdaily.com/2007/07/24/12-ways-to-use-facebook-professionally/

Of the 12 ways that Sohn described on how to use facebook professionally, I thought one of the most powerful ways was: "Look for old co-workers and current connections. I found more contacts on Facebook this way than I did on LinkedIn. Former colleagues have “Googled� me, and after a few emails to catch up we don’t communicate again. By adding these people to Facebook, I feel more connected to them without having to actively maintain a conversation via email. Look for business opportunities out of shared interests. (Sohn, 1)" To me, I have worked at a number of places. I have created many work relationships, but after leaving a job, it's easy to lose touch. By Sohn's suggestion, I could re-connect with former co-workers.

Another of Sohn's suggestions that I thought was powerful was to use the SOCIAL network site as a WORK network site was: "Join Groups related to your business interests. Many groups on Facebook are nonsense, but there are quite a few that can provide useful information and professional connections. Don’t miss the already existing groups for our parent site, GigaOm and sister site NewTeeVee. Each group can feature a Wall (like a guestbook…a continuous scroll of messages) and threaded discussion lists. Rather than trying to search for groups, watch the groups that your friends are joining, as often you will find them of interest for yourself. After all, they’re in your contact list because you have something in common, right? You might even think about using Facebook to virally address a business cause, as some are doing in their effort to save Business 2.0 magazine from going under. I only wish there was a way to see updated discussion threads on one screen rather than clicking group to group. (Sohn, 1)" Yes, there are many non-sense groups out there, but there are also some legit ones that bring individuals with common interests together . . . groups on Facebook like Ernst & Young Careers and Asian American Journalists Association. Connecting with these groups may lead to more opportunities.

Thus, Facebook (which was initially developed as a Social networking site) has many uses, including networking professionally (work networking). Furthermore, you could think of it as a life network. Think of all the people that you have met in your life that you have lost touch with. You could definitely reconnect with some of them on Facebook.

Speaking of life, it seems to get busier and busier as time goes by. Nowadays with the age of technology, life has gotten burstier and burstier. The topic of this week "workstreaming" could help in today's age of technology. As defined in Connect: "workstreaming, verb: publishing one's work-related acitvities and events to your remote colleagues to they can see what you're up to. ... Workstreaming is aimed at professional activities, though it may include personal updates too, when they're relevant for team bonding or for updating workmates as to what you're up to (Connect, 148)" People are running around with class, work, activities, etc. Therefore, sometimes it could be hard to know what's going on with your colleagues. Twitter is helpful in helping you know what's going on with your colleagues, loved ones, or your friends across the country. Just as there was a list on how to use Facebook professionally, there is one on Twitter: http://webworkerdaily.com/2007/03/15/eight-ways-twitter-is-useful-professionally/

Anne Zelenka gave eight ways. One of the ways was: "Get questions answered. Say you’re trying to put a plugin in your WordPress blog but it gives you errors. Tell your Twitter friends and someone might be able to help you. Now, you wouldn’t have emailed all those people to ask and you wouldn’t have instant messaged them either… but a broadcast message to those paying attention is a lightweight non-intrusive way to do it. (Zelenka, 1)" Earlier, Hilary asked if anyone was going to be on campus tonight. I replied saying that I'm on campus right now. Although we did not end up meeting, we were able to connect via Twitter. That's great!

With the application activities this week, they are both new to me. . . . I'll celebrate my 1-week anniversary in having Facebook and Twitter next week. Happy Early Anniversary! These applications are also new to some of you. I think something that is new can be exciting or be really scary. The UMN Guide to Living in Online Communities is very helpful: http://www.osa.umn.edu/safety/online_safety.html

Although the questions and the answers were kind of scary (it mentions stalking, identity theft, harassment, etc), the following sums it up wonderfully: "[Question] Should I just stay away from them completely? These online communities sounds scary. [Answer] This information is not intended to scare you away from online communities. The University just wants to make sure that you make choices that allow you to experience the benefits of these sites and avoid the negatives. (U of MN)"

We should not be afraid. The web has many uses: Social Networking . . . Work Networking . . . Life Networking. We definitely could benefit from it. In ending, the web is where social and work and life come together.

My closing thoughts:

Since I have joined Facebook and Twitter this week, I felt so new to everything. I'm getting more and more comfortable with the applications. I know there is a lot more that I need to learn. I will continue learning. We're always learning throughout life. It seems as though in this past week, I have consumed a lot of my time on Facebook and Twitter, thus I kind of feel as though I'm being sucked in. I hope I don't get addicted to them so that I cannot function (sorry if I sound too dramatic). Nevertheless, this is a learning opportunity for me. I hope I'm doing things right. I want to do things well. In the end, I want to do it right and do it well.

Comments

Earlier that night I was desperate to get my hands on the book Connect, because Amazon still had not sent mine. I had nobody to contact, so I just thought that Twitter might be the right way to go. However, I ended up getting to the office that held packages and it was there. The downfall was that I forgot that I had posted on twitter, and left you hanging. Sorry bud.

It seems to me that you're doing quite well. It's so hard to find the right web/real life balance (I'm still working on that!), and I wish you luck with that.