Friday, December 28, 2007

Should you be linked in?

Should you be linked in? What is your online presence? You may need a New Year's resolution – get an online presence by joining a social network!

There are so many social networks now, which should tell us something; they are very popular, and popularity leads to the commoditization. So how do you choose where to spend your effort? And are they really worth it?

The goal is for us each to enhance and manage our online visibility not just connect to people. That said, one does need to exercise discrimination. I don’t know them all, but here is a partial list: Viadeo, Doostang, Facebook, Ecademy, Xing, Twitter, Linkedin, Orkut, JibberJobber, Myspace, Plaxo, Spoke…. (Underlined indicates ones I use)

[LinkedIn has over 16mm members, and most IT and Finance Professionals have already joined. Why are Lawyers’ slow adopters of these sites?]

Like many people I have never worked to develop and maintain my own network. If it was not for my wife I could barely send out 5 Christmas cards. She on the other hand has kept the same Christmas card book for the past 20 years, and from this she sends through snail mail several hundred cards each year. Each year she marks the book for each card sent and received. If she sends you a card three times without getting one back – you are dinged next year!

We all know that the kids are addicted to MySpace! Did you notice that Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240m – this values a small start up at 15 BILLION. This is nearly as much as Google was valued at when it went public!

In November of 2006 I accepted someone’s invite to “LinkedIn”, I visited the site, but I really did not get it. They don’t make it easy; these networks are not MySpace which will accept just about anyone. You actually have to work at it and it initially is not obvious how to build your network. You actually have to link to people you know. This summer (2007), when I decided to put some effort in, the picture became clear. Not only have I reached out and connected with almost everyone with whom I have worked with over the last 25 years, I feel for the first time to be ahead of my wife and I understand why Microsoft overpaid for a small three year old start-up. This is a huge shift and we can't allow ourselves to fall behind.

I really like Facebook, but it is not for business. My daughter and I have even stopped using email to communicate, we use Facebook (feel free to visit my Facebook, excellent site for close personal friends.
For business, is the place to be. It takes a lot of work to build your network but it is worth it. Visit my profile at (

Plaxo is a site aggregator – can be used to manage all the others therefore it is worth watching for the future, the interface is nice too.

[Note: Everyone needs to manage their profile on or they will do it for you.]

**** Happy New Year ****

By Zebriod © 2007
Raymond May

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