It all started when some of my musician friends started raving about MySpace. MySpace is one of the many new social networking sites out there designed to keep you in touch with an infinite number of friends, fans, local folks and likeminded people. MySpace seems to have captured those who are into music because it offers easy ways to include your own personal music right on your page. I checked it out, and my band did make a page there. Since we use it as one of our marketing tools, it takes some work (time) to maintain it, to make sure our schedule is up to date, updating pictures when band members change and the like.
Then my teenage daughter asked if she could make a Facebook page. Being a concerned parent, I said I would only allow it if we did it together. I would make my own page to figure our security settings and such, and she would make hers after I consented. I did so, and found a number of my friends on there. As people do things throughout the day, they will change their status. For instance, my status might read "Tim Dotson is watching Marquette choke". When my UW friends log in, they comment to that status about how they deserve it. It invites you to keep relationships going, especially those that may have waned due to distance. Old school buddies, old co-workers, or friends from past organizations can all keep in touch. Ironically, my daughter ended up not liking it. I kept on however, finding it quite enjoyable.
Then the next step came. My sister-in-law suggested I try LinkedIn, which is a professional networking tool rather than the social aspects. The focus is on work achievement, job opportunity, career path growth, and professional organizations. Again, I was somewhat reluctant but tried it out because of her recommendation, and because she is a successful business woman. One thing I've learned: Always listen to successful people. Sure enough, it did offer some value and I can see the attraction to this type of system as well.
Now it seems that Twitter is all the rage. Pro basketball players are even "tweeting" during games! The Bucks own Charlie Villanueva supposedly typed the following during halftime of a game recently: "In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." I have not yet delved into the twitter realm, mostly because it seems too much like Facebook. I've got so many friends linked to me on Facebook, Twitter now seems like a duplicate effort. Because of time reasons I'd only have time for one, so the choice so far is to stick with Facebook. Now I heard my favorite radio station was taking requests via Twitter. Is Twitter becoming more popular than Facebook?
I'd love to hear from you. If you tweet and/or use Facebook, or any one of the other online networking systems, let's hear your thoughts! Good / bad / comparisons, let's have it all.