Man is a social animal and he can’t exist in isolation, we make friends and find common interest groups and socialize with people or society or things of our interest. Internet has provided us a great bridge and even a greater platform on which the social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg etc ) are made. The basic concept is similar to all: to find your friends or share information, get along common interest group and explore new ones.
If you decide to take your online social life for granted you might want to think over as it might affect your work, business and prestige. Then as you look around, wondering which might be the best one for you, check over different social networks and read about them.
You may be interested in the following related articles as well.
Social Networking has become very popular during the past few years, but it can still be very difficult to understand for someone new to social networking. The open-ended nature of social networks adds to this. Once signed onto a social network, having answered a few basic profile questions, it is easy to sit back and wonder what you are supposed to do next.
The easiest way to understand social networking is to think of it like high school. You had friends in school, and you knew quite a few people even if you weren’t friends with all of them, but it’s likely that you didn’t know everyone.
If you ever moved to a new school — or if you can imagine moving to a new school — you start out with no friends. After attending classes, you start meeting people, and as you meet them, you begin associating with those that have similar interests. [Read More]
Technically, A social network service focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities. A social network service essentially consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web based and provide means for users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Although online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.
Ahhh… Alright, Enough blah blah blah! Let’s get back to the point.
How to Improve Your Online Social Life
These are the days when people have as much social life in the virtual world as they have in the real world, to keep up with the upcoming trends and lifestyle we have done much brainstorming and tried to summarize all that is required to improve your Online Social Life.
1. Educate Yourself
Guys, there are numerous ways for social networking on the internet; you have to go for those which reflect your personality, interests, work and most importantly fun. The earlier among social network are chat engines where communities are made for specific domains or interests, social networks gave a virtual platform for expressing oneself and making friends online and share information whom you may never meet or see. This “actually” provides a great refuge as well for some to socialize when they cannot get along in the real world. There is whole new world to be explored, get yourself registered on them and involve in activities knowing how they work and who all might be your audience to everything.
Before making friends and working towards making the social network useful for you, Try reading the “policies”, as in some cases (for example in digg) your actions might be against their policies and you might lose your account with them. Digg does not allow a user to make multiple accounts unlike “stumble” and “Twitter”.
2. Make Yourself Accountable
When you surf on the net and you visit a blog/article where you want to comment then most commonly you have to get yourself registered on them to be able to do that, this way you keep up with all the things you like and get connected with people of your interest, here (virtual world) most new-comers don’t understand the need for sincerity and respect and just write anything scrap on the comments or even at times post some negative comments where they ought to be a critic. This attitude must be avoided as nowadays where networking is gaining more and more importance in all spheres of life, you want to make people appreciative of you, rather than think of you as another jerk. You don’t want to lose your online reputation.
There have been instances that employers have done a record check of the online behavior of their employees on different social networks (especially Facebook/and blogs) of the kind of content they post or if anything against the company is discussed in their forums, which has even resulted in getting them fired.
3. Get into Discussions on “Internet Forums”
It’s important that you are regular with the updates going around and not just with your own stuff but with others as well, one need to be appreciative of others contents as well, then only your contents will be viewed and possibly criticized by others. Message (or update sharing as most social networks call them) on your network is actually a parameter to determine how social you are.
The key to get in touch with people of your interest is to be regular with the message board of your interest where you will be sharing many thoughts and hearing different views and in the process you will come across many fascinating people. The biggest advantage comes when you have a problem and you just can’t get a way out, so you put your question at the forum and then it all depends on the kind of relationship that you share with others on the message board. If you have a clean and honest image where you have also helped people, then there’s a good probability of you being directed to your solution, but again it needs a lot of time, as to get someone’s trust one has to trust the other guy as well. Try to avoid doing bumps just for the sake of attention.
Experts and novices are equally found on internet forums where technology is discussed and probable solutions are given, updates regarding different domain specific news are generally first to hit on forums. These online discussion sites give a very good platform to all users to communicate among them.
4. Be Available and Reach Out
Open yourself and make yourself available to everyone, conversation is the key to social networking. Try to give a strong impression on the person when you talk and possibly try to bond with people of your area so that you may get their personal contacts possibly their yahoo IM or their GTalk ID. Such a thing increases conversation and gradually you build your network. Instant messenger and various networks allow real time chatting with people, but then you have to be available for that.
Emails must be replied promptly with effective priority, the idea behind being available is that, any person who is keeping really well with his network and is always around then he is supposed to have an impact in his area. Try to reach out to maximum people.
5. Netiquette & Posting Style Online
There is set of norms that must be followed when you are writing online or in emails, this must be kept in mind while you converse as well and in postings. Netiquette may be defined as the set of social norms facilitating conversation in the virtual world (it can be writing in blogs, forums, mailing lists and Usenet).
All said about the writing norms then we see the “posting style”, how we respond to messages or mails or anything. Depending on the position of the reply (text) with respect to the original message (text) the posting style is decided, there can be interleaved posting, bottom-posting & top-posting. You need to check for the kind of posting style an online community uses.
6. Get your RSS Feeds
People who want to keep up with any webpage while still working and who don’t have enough time to surf through the page all the time they can get themselves registered to the webpage’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds wherein any recent updates can be mailed to the person.
The benefit of using RSS to publishers is that they can send the “customized content” demanded by the customer reducing the trouble of worrying for spam, age limitations and over burdening with numerous topics. To the client as well he need not check his favorite blog or news all the time, whatever updates will be there regarding discounts, articles, NEWS, forums or any domain-specific topic which interests him will be sent to him via RSS feeds.
If you feel you are still wasting a lot of time surfing The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times etc many times a day to get news updates and all this process kills your time, Get the RSS feeds regarding particular domains of your favorite news sites. Be connected without hampering other work.
For example “Multiple RSS” feeds provided by digg is such a great experience to use as you can subscribe the popular updates in security or programming alone, in technology section. You need not surf different WebPages, you just need to install your RSS client and view any particular topic from any website from a single place.
7. Beware of your Actions and Don’t be Insensitive
Guys when you want to improve socially you must take care of your behavior and communication with others, an online network can thrive only when people participating give due importance to others as well and know the outcome of their behavior. This would be great help in making friends online because if you misbehave with someone you may never get to communicate with that person again.
As in real life one must accept his folly and should not hesitate in apologizing, the same rule goes here as well. You must be ready to apologize when you have done something wrong this will possibly make the other person forget your errors or irrational behavior.
Many people misinterpret the ways of social networks, for example one guy joins Twitter and starts promoting his company from day one tirelessly, which is certainly these social networks are not only meant for. By time this would make him lose him lose his network.
8. You can’t Build your Online Social Network Overnight
Improving your social skills, is a time taking process you cannot expect people to trust you and be friends if you just hang around, you need to spend time while “building trust” and making new friends, sharing contents, having a positive attitude towards things and gradually as you also become old and trusted in the network then others listen to you as well.
Again there is a “downside” or “corrupt practice” which some people bank on, what is seen these days is that people get in social networks, make hell of an effort to get along the community, befriend all, build a strong network and make a really solid profile. Once they find themselves at the top of the network they start making money using their profile, they demand money and use their “weight” to influence the happenings in the online network.
This does not last for long and social network admins generally identify and blacklist those users, so these practices should not be banked upon. This is happening with social networks like Twitter, digg, facebook etc.
9. Be open to Criticism and Don’t get in Flame War
Criticism tells others views, whatever they maybe, you should always try to have a learning attitude and accept it with an open mind. If you want to improve in your life then you should be able to “take criticism and respond” to that properly.
In the Online terminology, Flame War starts when any heated topic is touched at, maybe over politics, religion, philosophy or anything there you need to learn not to end up being the villain neither the victim but rather to avoid such situations.
Constructive criticism is often a great help and gives space for self-evaluation.
We have penned down a whole lot of tips and suggestions for improving your online social skills which would be serious help to people who want to just make their online social life a fun experience and for those as well who want to get into social networking as a career. In our times we need to be socially active online as well: in the virtual world. The propagation of ideas and knowledge has become very easy, since you just need to be connected with people/community of similar taste and passions. President Obama was very active on Facebook before his presidential elections, almost every successful man on the planet today is on either of these networks, making these a part of their lives and using these for their personal and businesses purposes. Social networking, originally started in the scientific community for research, has now become everyone’s part of life. So go there, look around make online networks and expand your life.