Social Networking Beginner's Guide

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by Linda Davis

azfamily.com

Posted on April 14, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 22 at 12:47 PM

When I was a kid, a tweet was the cute sound the little yellow bird made in the cartoons - remember Tweety Bird. Fast-forward 40 years and it means something totally different and it has become a noun! Tweet is now a short message posted to the incredibly popular social networking site Twitter.

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Social networking? I had to face it folks - this is something that is not going away. And, I kept getting requests to be friends with folks I knew who had Facebook and to link with professional colleagues on a site called Linked in.

So, it took me kicking and screaming to get here - but here are the basics I learned. And, guess what - I've found it's fun, great if you're a professional and trying to market yourself and not all that hard to learn.

And, I also learned a couple of really important things to keep in mind with any social networking site: remember that everything you put out there on line is well, out there. You can't count on anything being private even if you send it to only your closest friends. Think about it, you can't control if they forward it on to someone else. Never put something online that you wouldn't want many others to see. Privacy is relative in the Internet.

Also, never give out personal information online. If you do, even to one person countless others also can get access to it. So be smart, be careful before you hit send or save. And, most importantly, start teaching this to your kids. Trust me on this.

Facebook

www.facebook.com

Let's start here. Facebook is true social networking. It's sort of the next generation of MySpace, which sort of started it all and is still big for teens. It's for keeping in touch with friends and family, meeting new people on line, promoting a business or even keeping tabs on what's happening with your favorite actors, bands, or TV program - like Your Life!

Yes, Your Life A-Z has a Facebook page. You can sign up to be a fan of the show and get updates and give suggestions or story ideas. We'd love to see you join our fan club!

With Facebook, you create a profile and then can update it regularly. Some people update it very often, others just when they feel like it. You can control the content and can make your file private or public. You also can block certain people if you want to.

But, again, keep in mind what you post or tell. Even employers are now checking Facebook pages of applicants prior to hiring.

Twitter

www.twitter.com

This is so new but so huge! When you join Twitter, you can "follow" people or shows. And, people can follow you. A message on Twitter is called a Tweet and it's short and sweet. In fact 140 words is the limit and the homepage of Twitter says that the purpose is to answer the question, "What are you doing?"

Celebrities and TV shows are going crazy with it. And, just like Facebook, Your Life A-Z has a Twitter page - .

When you join Twitter, you can "follow" people or shows. And, people can follow you. A message on Twitter is called a Tweet and it's short and sweet. In fact 140 characters (including spaces) is the limit and the homepage of Twitter says that the purpose is to answer the question, "What are you doing?"< /p>

The famous Tweets that are going around are stories of celebrities sending out a Tweet such as a sports star telling where he is and the first person to tap him on the shoulder gets tickets to the game that night. Or recently, pro skateboarder, Tony Hawk hid about 180 of his skateboards throughout the US and sent out Tweets guiding people to their locations - sort of an Easter egg hunt for skateboards.

TV shows like Your Life use them to let viewers follow the show about upcoming segments and to get your ideas as well.

Many celebrities are on Twitter with literally thousands of followers - one person told me she follows Anderson Cooper for the latest news.

You can use Twitter with friends to keep up with what everyone's doing. Twitter is unbelievably popular and I must say I could see how it would become addictive. You can even set up to receive Facebook and Twitter updates on some cell phones.

Linked In

I've gotten so many requests to join Linked in that I had to start a profile of my own. This is a professional networking site. Your profile is sort of like a resume, work experience, school and what you're working on. It's a great way to keep in touch with clients, colleagues and others who may be helpful in your career. It can also be very useful if you're looking for work or new clients.

This one takes a while to set up - my profile is only about 45% because you can make it quite detailed. I equate Linked In to the modern networking group. Remember networking breakfasts at the local restaurants - this takes it global.

There you go. I'm convinced that I need to create a couple of these accounts if not only to follow what's happening on the show and with friends. They shot some behind the scenes photos while I was doing this segment so look for those online.

I'm actually looking forward to sending a receiving my first Tweet!

Live and Learn

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