You won’t find it hard to believe that I am an extrovert (ESTJ for all you Myers-Briggs people out there). Over the last several years I have tried to build a vast array of personal and professional contact, not because I am just an obsessive-compulsive networker (which I am), but because I sincerely enjoy getting to know librarians, vendors, service providers, and various hangers-on of the library world.
Knowing others well has always served me better than being well known.
But how much is enough? I find myself needing a social networking strategy. What seems to have started as an implicit popularity contest–how many friends, how many followers, how many degrees of separation–has turned into an overwhelming array of networking opportunities.
So I do have a bit of a strategy that is likely similar to others’:
Facebook: Come one, come all. “Friend” no longer means what it use to and any friend of a friend is a friend of mine. But frankly, I don’t care too much if you would spend a million dollars the same way I would, and should I care which Indiana Jones character you would be? I use Facebook for communication and for (surprise, surprise) seeing what people’s faces look like. When I’m ready to thin out my garage of friends, I will likely start with those who don’t want me to know what they look like. Facebook, people…come on!
LinkedIn: Here, I am selective. If I don’t know who you are, haven’t shook your hand, talked to you, IMed extensively with you, eaten or drunk with you, then I’m not likely to link to you. Add to that some assurance that I won’t be embarrassed by a connection anytime soon–harder to guarantee, even for the people who add me to their network.
Twitter: Sorry. I don’t get it. I don’t like it. Don’t look for me there much longer. It’s hard enough for me to keep track of what I am doing. I simply don’t have the time or inclination to tell everyone else.
Add to this : LibraryThing, StumbleUpon, Twine, Plaxo Plus, Iminta, etc., etc. How many more of these must I really sign up for? For now, I will stick to Facebook and LinkedIn and continue to employ my current strategy. Everyone else I want to keep up with has my email, IM, or phone number. Someone nudge me when there is a clear winner in the aggregation of social networks.