Plunging in to social networking

I've set up accounts on FriendFeed and Twitter with the username davemunger. I'm going to give these sites a try for the next week or so. Unlike with Facebook where we've got a profile but haven't really done much, I'd actually like to actively participate in these networks.

I'd appreciate any tips readers have for getting established there, and any other similar sites that it might be useful to be a part of. Ideally these sites would link back in to FriendFeed so I only have to check up on one site. And of course, if you'd like to follow my feed, you're welcome to.

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Follow follow follow.

You don't really get your fingers on the pulse of current trends unless you are following at least 100 people.

Be discriminatory when following somebody through SMS updates. Save that for people you particularly want to hear from no matter when.

FriendFeed is different. Don't follow follow follow there. Pick a few people from twitter that you feel share particularly interesting information that relates to your field of study and check to see if they have a friend feed.

FriendFeed is to be used more as an aggregated RSS feed. At least, that is how I use it. I funnel all of my news travels into my FriendFeed.

It should take you about a week to get comfortable with twitter. Remember that you can always 'unfollow' people once you figure out what you want to use it for.

Let me know if you'd like any more tips.

I think social networking is highly personality-dependent. I got involved in a couple of limited social networking sites*, and I found them very intrusive, like having a roommate who didn't respect my personal space, and kept walking into the bathroom when I was taking a shit.

My point is, there are upsides and downsides to successful social networking, and you may prefer a situation where your Internet time is more under your control.

* I had a music page on MySpace, which was awful, but free and easy to set up, and I studied Portuguese on LiveMocha, which is a great resource, unless you get really uptight when Brazilian strangers critique every freakin' word you say.

Thanks for the tips everyone -- I'm starting to see why people are so into Twitter. There's no way I'm going to do the SMS version though. There's such a thing as too much information!

I think that, to some degree, what you get out of these sites depends on what you put in. FriendFeed can be useful as a sort of meta-RSS aggregator, allowing you to see what things other people find interesting, but you get more out of it if you push stuff out there-- blog posts, del.icio.us links, etc. That gives other people a way to find you, which in turn gives you a way to find people you don't already know.

You should definitely concentrate on twitter first, and get used to using that and then expand out from there. You should setup the twitter app in facebook so your tweets get relayed to all your facebook contacts, it is useful to hear back from those in FB that will never join twitter. Twitter is a more pure conversation / crowdsourcing tool than anything else out there, IMHO.

Never forget that twitter is a conversation, often abstract and often multi-threaded with many communicators. Do your part and add to the conversation.

Don't feel obligated to answer every single person who includes you n a conversation back but always jump in where it is appropriate, even if it is hours later.

Follow people who have at least a couple of thousand followers first and you'll naturally build your following as people on their streams see your posts.

Be interesting, share opinions, take a stand, and start the conversation.

Feel free to follow me and I'll follow you back. I'm @davelakhani or http://www.twitter.com/davelakhni

Hi Dave!

Dave Lakhani used less than 140 precise characters to pique my interest enough to follow you, and to visit your site. Please give Twitter longer than a few days or weeks.

Initially I was apprehensive when I joined Twitter, so I spent the majority of my time reading and learning. I find now that I have a sense of the 'collective personality' of those I follow and I am comfortable enough to contribute and ask questions, and when I can, offer advice.

When observed in the context of a conversation you will be amazed how you get a sense of the pulse of how a strata of an international society is thinking, and you will learn immediately applicable opinions.

Feel free to follow me @known - I tend to follow internet marketers because I realized I have much to learn!

Best regards,

Cheryl C. Cigan
www.known.com

I tried twitter about a year ago, and quickly dismissed it as a waste of time.
I was wrong.
I've been using it again for a few days, and have realised that it is a very powerful tool for many purposes.
I guess my main comment at present is that your twitter experience will depend on who you choose to follow. I've gained lots of insights from some people - and unfollowed others who use twitter constantly just to send out spam.
I'm thinking that it would be an advantage to have one account for business, and another for more personal oriented stuff.
And try Twhirl (http://www.twhirl.com) for a great twitter interface.