Social Networking: How to get started

I know I should get into Social Networking, but my life seems to be functioning perfectly well without it. However, the more I’m using these tools, the more I’m discovering that I was functioning happily before because I was merily oblivious to conversations happening all around me in the parallel universes of Twitter, blogs, Delicious…

So each week I aim to add a new weird and wonderful internet gadget to my life and the results are posted here.

Facebook

A part of my life for 4 years now, it’s been integral in getting a message out to young people around me. At University and at media jobs, it’s been a great way of letting young people know about a radio show or how they can get on TV. Groups and fan pages are a greast way of emailing a lot of people interested in a particular subject. The Embarrassing Bodies fan page currently has over 147,000 young fans. That’s social capital.

Twitter

As a 3-month-old tweeter, I’ve now mastered the @ and the # but whilst we’re all expected to know how to do this, it isn’t actually very well explained! The trick is to rely on the Tweeting experts. So once you’ve set up your profile, search for friends you know tweet regularly. Popstars in the news often tweet. Search for them and ‘follow’ them. And then be honest: tweet that you don’t know where to start and your tweet-savy friends will point you in the right direction. To tweet someone in particular just put @theirname. On the search box on the right, search #anytopic to see what people are saying about something you’re interested in. This is great for talks and TV shows, where Twitter traffic suplements interaction in the real world.

Blogs

WordPress is the biz. There are lots of blogs on how to write a good blog and wordpress has great DIY tutorials so there’s loads of information out there. ‘How to’ Blogs are very popular, so I recomend googling ‘how to…’ to build your blog with the help of the wider online community. I’m loving how many people take the time to help others – who said the internet makes people antisocial?!

Delicious

This allows you to save sites you’ve found interesting. By bookmarking similar sites, your bookmarks become a great way others can find these sites. If they’re interested in what you’re bookmarking they can subscribe to your updates. It works well when put into a widget on your blog, particularly if you’re blogging about the same subject you’re bookmarking, as it forms a reference section to your page.

Google Reader

My latest adeventure. It’s like Delicious but private. Keeping on top of weird and wonderful blogs is a great converstaion starter in the online or the real world, but I always wondered how on earth people find the time to do it. Google Reader is the answer. By subscribing to all these blogs and pages, you can read the latest updates like your daily flick through the newspaper.

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