Social Networking: A Utility Not Worth Avoiding

23 01 2009

Driving home to Michigan from Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday took 12 hours. On the way back, I was soaking in the historic moment I had just experienced and thinking about why Obama’s campaign in 2008 was so successful. Surely, his campaign platform riding on his coolness and young ideals gave him a distinct advantage but there was something else. It was his utilization of the Internet, more specifically, social networking on the Internet that allowed him to expand his network to the masses, he currently has 4,040,814 supporters on his Facebook page, me being one of them. President Obama is the first Presidential candidate to use the Internet as a primary media vehicle, definitely won’t be the last and is a perfect example of the utility that social networking can provide to anyone–from Wall Street to Main Street.

Another example of the effectiveness of social networking is how I landed the gig writing for this blog. After posting a short response to the Spring 2009 Internship Openings page, I was contacted by my current boss telling me to connect with him on Facebook, so he could get to know me better. I obviously wasn’t too big of a creep because today I have an internship in an exciting field.

In today’s business climate, avoiding social networking could be a big Howard Dean “BIIIIIYYYYAAAAWWWWW” to your carrer, it could ruin your campaign and make it a YouTube laughingstock. Sites like LinkedIn, are more increasingly becoming trafficked by human resource managers that use the site to find future employees, and allow access to connections between professionals by a network of direct, second and third degree connections. Sites like LinkedIn also provide a forum where business professionals can come together to share ideas within their field. For example, a question posted on LinkedIn titled ‘Using EVM(Earned Value Management) in your professional field of work?’ received 19 replies in less than five days (If any of my blogs ever receive 19 replies, I would be ecstatic). There are even professional companies that will create company profiles for businesses and their employees on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Social Harbor is one of these comanies that just started in Ann Arbor, MI, visit http://www.socialharbor.com for more details. In the mean time, tweet up, get recommended, poke that special someone and get connected!logo

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One response

24 01 2009
mary maurer

As a baby boomer happy that the baby boomers are out of the White House, I am intriqued by this blogging phenom. I am new to it, as of right now. There is no doubt that President Obama has put theory into practice. Check out http://www.whitehouse.gov. Even as a 50 something disconnected homemaker, I felt connected as I reviewed the new White House web site, inspired with the forthright nature of it’s content. The internet and all it’s layers is the new utility. Thank you for opening my mind once again! Now I just need a little in-service on what to do.

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