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How does social media and Networking help you?

Since the inception of social media and social networking as part of "Web 2.0", there have many that tell you how to get the most out of it.  So what I want to look at is how it has helped you. I'll start by showing how it has aided me from time to time. Before I go down that road, lets do a quick breakdown of Social Media and Social Networking, although the true debate on the differences can be left to those "true" professionals.

What is Social Media and Social Network, my take?

The distinction between Social Media and Social Networking does not contain a defined line in the sand that delineates the difference. As the Web 2.0 movement has progressed, the blur factor has increased to the point that many refer to Social Media as the new media (old school news turned to online presence) side of the house, while Social Networking still has that feel of a large online party.

Not to spend too much time on this aspect of the post, but here is my quick take on these two engines of the Web 2.0 world. Should it be Web 2.0 still, I think it's somewhere around version 2.7.

First lets take a look at Social Media. This could be looked at as the business side or journalistic side of the house. Think of all the blogs, podcasts, wikis and so forth that contain information that other turn to. This blog could be considered to be part of the social media circle.

For Social Networking, this of the Twitters, Facebooks, Friendfeeds of the world. This is where the online communities come together to share the information from social media including there our takes on life and the world.

Now to the fun stuff.

How does Social Media and Networking help you?

In your day to day lives, I'm sure many of you turn to these social hubs for information, entertainment or just plain ole time suck. So my question is, Has it helped you out in a specific instance. To help spur your thought process, let me show you some prime examples from my life.

From Social Media

When my wife was pregnant with our twins, I turned to the blogosphere to detail the experience up to birth and shortly there after. At which time, I decided to go for a true website with photos, stories and notes. This was a great release for me during this time. The post at that blog made on December, 26th was the defining moment, where it gave me the greatest release. It allowed be to tell the story in my words at my time.

Moving forward, this blog in and of itself has turned into my own personal journal detailing many aspects of my life and thoughts. And for those that write, you know that this can free the mind that later allows it to process the "real" issues in the world without having those other thoughts clouding things up.

From Social Networking

By now, many have discovered the world of Facebook and found all those people that you never really talked to in high school or college, yet you still friend them. Well that's a story for another day, so let me stop now before I tangent off in another direction. So how has this helped me.

To start, I was "volunteered" to help lead the planning of my 20 year class reunion. While people have done this for generations and had successful gatherings, planning in todays world is a bit more complex. People move, families retire to Florida and some just disappear so there was the challenge for a few of my fellow planners. How do we find everyone. Well right off the bat, we turned to Facebook. We created a group and a fan page, we did hours of searches and in the end found nearly 160 of our 279 classmates. Final count may have actually been higher, but some that we found would never register or sign up for anything, so they were a bit harder to count. Without Facebook, I do not believe we could have gotten the word out as well, seeing as we all had full-time jobs and lifes even before reunion planning.

This reunion even had some aspects of the "social media" role as well. We developed a website using the service. This got us into the Google Index and quite a few found us that way.

So this was just one example where the "social" services helped me out.

So here is your turn, please leave a comment on how the "social" services have help you? Did you land a job? Find love on online? Expand your knowledge base? Fill in the blank.

So until next time, may you web stay social without getting the bugs.


Testing new Comment section

This post is for testing out a new comment section based on the Disqus platform. It allows users from facebook, twitter, openID and more to comment as "registered" users.

Please stop by and test it out. 

Note : If you left a comment prior to this, I left word with a guru on how to display those.


FaceBook acquires FriendFeed - A Users Take

While I was heads down working my real job, a big story was developing in the world of Social Media. FaceBook acquired Friendfeed.

Now many may look at this and go so what or what is friendfeed. I'll try to break it down for you. This will not be the same take that Technologizer or TechCrunch pushes out. See, they will look at it from a business stand point for the most part. I'm going to tell you about the casual users take.

First, let's go over what friendfeed is and what it has to offer.

In short, think of a single place (similar to Facebook) that you can catch the inflow of information from the people you subscribe to. But unlike Facebook, friendfeed is more open, much like Twitter. So if the person you are subscribing to has YouTube or Flickr or their blog listed, you would see those in your stream without having to have a two way relationship.

So now you are thinking, that's the news feed in Facebook, well yes and no. In friendfeed, if someone likes or comments on a "story" this it flows back to the top of your feed. This is one of the features I like about friendfeed. It filters out the stories that no one finds interesting.

I have used friendfeed on and off for the last six months or so. During that time, it appeared confusing, unorganized and more complex than what the average social media user would be interested in. But it did have several features that I noted above that are very nice and would be a nice fit with Facebook. Describing friendfeed can be difficult, so the best way is to dive in and see what you can see.

What does friendfeed give to Facebook. To top the list, talent. Most were former googlers. So that would be enough. Second, search. Search is big business and Facebook search for stories, news or even a friends status is lacking. Note: As I'm writing this, I see where Facebook is implementing real-time search. Lastly, features. Today you can see some of the friendfeed features in Facebook, such has the option to "like" a story or picture.

So what does this mean to Facebook users and what this means to friendfeed users. Let's start with the latter.

Will friendfeed remain as it is, based on what I have read yes. Will it stay that way, well that's a business decision that no one will smartly announce at this time. I do expect some if the improvements in the pipeline to continue. But long term, friendfeed may go the way of the dodo bird. Why have two models that do the same thing. It just drains the bank account and the talent to maintain both.

Over in Facebook land, expect to see many of the features, such as search, "subscribe" to non-friends, think ramped up Fan Pages and the rooms feature. Rooms allow you to filter by topic. I truly expect these to make their way into the everyday functions of Facebook.

In the end, it may be several months before we see the true impact of this move. I also expect to see other social media moves, and those will be based on search.


Weekly Roundup #1

Since this is the first weekly roundup, let me explain what is going to happen. First, I'm going to select a few stories that made an impact on me. Now these may be important or trivial or a mix of both. I plan on covering a range of topics from sports, politics, technology, social media and so on. So on any given week, you may find a topic that you are interested in.

As far as formatting of the weekly round up, I plan to have each topic be a separate page or permlink, but at this time it will be just a single post.

So I hope you enjoy.

Story One - Michael Jackson is still dead

Well unless you have been in a cave the last week, then I'm sure you are aware that Michael Jackson passed away. Now under normal circumstances this would be a sad story, but in the case of Michael Jackson, you have to almost feel sorry for the person.

Click to read more ...


Another day on the social world

Well another day in the social network world and more experiences. Let's get the bad out of the way first. Twitter decided to have a slight malfunction and remove followers and those you were following. They didn't wipe your entire group but a good number. They are working on the issue and I now seem to have my groupings back. Yea Was that really bad news. Dunno. Another thing that I have found rather informative and fun is friendfeed. Here you can find the feeds of persons all grouped in one place. Now if I only had people subscribed to my friendfeed. Maybe tomorrow. I did come across an interesting trend in facebook. It appears that people I know seem to all find me or me find them in groups. I can go weeks and not find or add anyone as a friend, then boom I have five or six in a row. While I'm talking about facebook, the new design is much better. For a while there I was starting to think facebook was nothing but a gaming site. With this new design, it brings a look of being more professional without having that Linkedin look. Well until the next time.