Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Social Networking Websites: How to Find Them

Every day across the world hundreds of millions of people communicate with each other online. In addition to communicating with other people in their own country, many are communicating with those on the other side of the globe. This communication is due largely in part to the explosion of online social networking websites over the last 10 years and more. If you are interested in joining the growing number of Internet users who use social networking websites, you will have to find a network to join.

When it comes to finding the social networking websites that are right for you, you have a number of different options. Perhaps, the easiest way to find a social networking website is by performing a standard Internet search on Google, Yahoo, or one of the many hundred different search engines that exist on the Internet. You may want to search with the words social networking or social networking websites. Whichever search phrase you choose, there is a good chance that you will be presented with a long list of websites with both broad general focus and more specific focus. The latter can become annoying when the focus of page after page of search results returns only dating sites. So perhaps specify the type of networking site you are interested in. For example social business networking, social sports networking website, social scrap-booking networking website. I’m sure you get the idea.

You can also find and familiarize yourself with social networking websites by talking to those that you know. The Internet, as well as social networks, has rapidly increased in popularity. That popularity means that there is a good chance that one of your relatives, friends, co-workers, or neighbours has used a specific social networking website in the past, and indeed is probably still active. If they are not, find someone who is because the chances are the people who only dabbled and gave it up will not be in the best position to advise you accurately. Many of the people you know may have even used more than one networking website based on different specific interests that they have. If you know someone who has, you will want to ask them their recommendations. You will find that most social networking websites come highly rated, but there are some out there that may not even be worth your time.

In addition to speaking to those that you actually know, you can also seek recommendations from those that you do not personally know. You can do this online. Online, you should be able to find a number of websites that discuss social networking sites. Many of these websites have reviewed a collection of social networking sites. Warning….unless you are analytically inclined and love research, do this at your own peril as you could find yourself behind the computer clicking from one page to the next to find out more when the hearse comes to take you away. Basically keep it real and reasonable. In addition to reviews and other articles, you should also be able to speak with other Internet users on online message boards. Like speaking to one of your friends, many Internet users would be more than willing to let you know what social networking websites are worth the time and which ones are not. Again, beware of your time. Whilst online message boards and instant messaging programs (IM) are a great tool, they can suck the life out of your schedule like a black-hole.

Although it is nice to receive recommendations from those that you know or other Internet users, you should ultimately make your own decision. Whether or not a social networking website comes highly recommended, you should still to check it out first yourself. A large number of social networking websites are free to use; therefore, there are no risks associated with giving the site a try. Despite the fact that most online social networking sites are free to use, there are some that you must pay for. A large number of these websites offer free trials. Even if the trial period is only for a few days, you should easily be able to get a feel of the site’s environment and determine whether or not it is right for you.
In your search for a social networking website, whether you perform your own Internet search or rely on recommendations from others, you should be able to find a number of popular websites. Personally I find Ecademy the most effective for business, LinkedIn is a great Rolodex and others such as Xing & Internations are also very good indeed. You’ll find me on these and feel free to come on up and say “hi”. The good news about this is that if you are not satisfied with the social networking website you joined, you don’t have to worry; there are many more available for you to choose from.

I hope this was valuable

Until soon.


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