Monday, March 2, 2009

So, what's the point of all of those social networking sites anyway?

If you're someone who spends a lot of time writing on your blog, checking Facebook, updating Twitter, connecting on Brazen Careerist etc., you've probably been asked this question at least once. So, what do you say to the naysayers out there? You could refer them to countless articles and blog posts about the value of social networking sites to businesses, or mention the wide variety of people and organizations that can be followed on Twitter. Well, here are a few pointers for explaining your love of the Web 2.0 world to those who aren't a part of it:

  1. Emphasize what you've gotten out of these sites, all of the connections you've made, and how each site serves a different purpose. The more you can back up your positive opinions, the better.
  2. Show the doubtful one the sites instead of just talking about them. This way, they can have a picture in their mind to go along with the name.
  3. If all else fails, suggest that they try it out for themselves before passing judgement. After all, pretty much all of these sites are free and it's what you put into it that determines what you get out of it.

I have always been a bit of a technology geek. I love electronics and gadgets, and I'm always looking for new websites to explore. But, a lot of the people in my life aren't so technologically advanced, or just don't have much of an interest in it. So, I was very happy when CPX added a new page to our website that provides links to everything I've been working on since I started in January. Now, when someone asks me what it is I actually do at work, I can show them.

So, what's the point of all of those social networking sites anyway? For me, it's a way to connect to people in my industry, keep up with the latest news, share my thoughts on things that are going on in my life and in the world, meet new people and reconnect with old friends, promote my company in fun and innovative ways, learn from others...and so much more.

How would you answer this question? What's the point of all of those social networking sites FOR YOU? Is Twitter overrated? Has Facebook gotten out of touch? Are blogs just a soapbox for people to vent about their lives? Or is online social networking the best thing since sliced bread?

Update: For more on this topic, check out this post on Intersected, an awesome blog!

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