If you’re new to the whole Internet social networking phenomenon, terms like “Facebook,” “MySpace,” “Twitter,” and others may sound like unintelligible jargon or GeekSpeak. But there are lots of great reasons why you should consider having a free account on one of these social networking sites.
1. Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
This has got to be close to the top of the list for anyone who joins a social networking site. For parents with high school or college aged kids, especially, your Facebook page can be a great way to see pictures, post notes, send messages, and generally stay in the loop with what your kids are doing, thinking about, and wishing for.
2. Reconnect with Former Classmates and Friends
Social networking sites are adding thousands of new members every day. Chances are that your old high school flame, your locker mate, your debate partner, or the captain of your cheerleading squad is already there. You don’t even have to wait until your class reunion!
3. Form Interest Groups
Social networking has created almost endless possibilities for people to make connections around topics of mutual interest. You can find a “cause” or a “group” on these sites for almost any subject you can imagine. And new ones are being formed daily.
4. Personal Marketing
You have to be a little careful with this one, but to a limited extent, social networking sites can be a good way to let other people who know you also find out about what you do. This can be a way to get referrals, leads, and other business helps. But again, you have to be careful and not too overt. Check the rules for your site.
5. Find New and Interesting Internet Content
Many people post links to their blogs, home pages, email, and other contact points of interest on their networking profiles. Want to read about the weather in Tibet or the latest cross stitching techniques? More than likely, one of your networking partners can fill you in!
6. Learn about Social Trends
The Internet is rapidly becoming the modern equivalent of the market square; it’s the primary place where people “gather” to hear what’s going on in the world and in the lives of friends and colleagues. If you’re connected via social networking, you’re just naturally going to pick up the buzz a lot quicker.
7. Influence the Discussion
Through the many polls, forums, and discussion lists available to you via social networking, you can have your say on the important issues of the day.
8. Create a Buzz for Creative Content
If you’re an artist or writer, personal networking can be a really good way to let people know what you’re working on, what you’ve just completed, and what’s coming.
9. An Expanding Universe
Because of the principle of friends inviting friends, the social networking world increases exponentially, every day. Every time one of your friends invites a friend to join, your potential network grows.
10. It’s Free!
Think about this: what would it have cost you, in 1965 (if you can remember that far back), to maintain nearly constant contact with 300 friends, family members, and associates, scattered all over the country?