This short article is not intended as a thorough discussion of this topic but rather a very short introduction.  If you are already an expert in Social Networking then this article will likely be boring.

Social Networks defined:

Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision, if you will.  Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online.

This is because unlike most high schools, colleges, or workplaces, the internet is filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people, to gather and share first-hand information and experiences about cooking, golfing, gardening, developing friendships professional alliances, finding employment, business-to-business marketing and even groups sharing information about baking cookies to the Thrive Movement (www.ThriveMovement.com).  The topics and interests are as varied and rich as the story of our universe.

To continue reading the article quoted above go to:  http://www.whatissocialnetworking.com/

Some of the more common ones are:  Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace etc.  There are more than I can list here but, Wikipedia has a fairly extensive list located at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

This particular blog entry will deal with the following:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google+
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn

Facebook – Very popular and I feel pretty certain the largest social networking site ever!  It is a really cool way to keep up with old friends and friends with similar interests.  And the cool thing is there are Niche’ groups even within the FB Community.  This is a “general interest” social networking site.  It changes fairly often but don’t let that get to you.  Change is good!  Seriously most of the changes they have made over the past two years are indeed enhancements…if we could only get people to quit being stuck in their ways.  There are tons of games and apps available but not everyone plays.  If you decide to play one of them, please keep in mind the game gathers info on all of your FB friends and sends them invites and notifies them of what you are doing in the game.  If you FB friends do not wish to participate in games and do not know how to block them, it can be rather annoying.

Google+ – One of the latest attempts by Google to get into the Social Networking market.  This one looks like it may actually succeed.  This one is more for meeting new individuals who have interests similar to your own.  For example…if you happen to love trains, but your spouse and your co-workers do not share your passion about trains, you can meet new train lovers on Google+ much easier than you can on Facebook.  Keep in mind that is just one example.  What is YOUR passion?  You can likely meet new persons who share your passion.

By the way…if you do setup a Google+ account, be aware there are a lot of users on there that hate Facebook. Don’t let them sway you. Also, for many “plussers” as they are called, American English is not their native tongue and it is frequently hard to understand what they are trying to say.

Twitter – I personally do not consider this one a Social Networking Site.  To me it appears to be a “News Bulletin” type site and a way to keep up with the movers and shakers in Pop Culture.  It also takes a long time to learn how to read Twitter Shorthand…I still sometimes do not understand the Tweets I read.

LinkedIn – This is mainly for Business and Professionals.  It is so much a Social Networking site as it is a business referral site.  You really are supposed to only connect or LINK with business owners and professionals that you know and have had some dealings with.  The average person does not need a Linked In profile.

So really, which Social Networking sites you use it up to you.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t use XYZ because ______.  (Fill in the blank.)  You need to explore each one that you have an interest in and see what you think!  Also, you can lock down your Privacy Settings pretty tight these days and control who can see your stuff!  You can even post something on your FACEBOOK Timeline that is locked down so tight only one person you designate can see it.  (I just posted something to my Timeline on 6/11at 12:05PM as a Test or Proof that you can lock it down.  Why not try to find this post?  If you can, tell me exactly what it says.)

If you want to know more about any of this, please check out the article referred earlier…. http://www.whatissocialnetworking.com/

Dennis “The Computer Guy” Wilson

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