On 21 July 2009 The Orange County Access Executive Network (AccessEN) sponsored a program entitled "A Panel on Building and Expanding Business with Social Media."
Many of us old folks have looked at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIN as interesting, but not essential components of a modern business plan. The panel,
- Rebekah King, Chief Media Maven, Rebiz Works
- Gabrielle Pascoe, Director of New Media, Dr. Phil & The Doctors
- Vicki Tortorelli, Co-founder, System Solutions Inc.
Had very detailed discussions on how their businesses provide consulting to many different companies on how to best use all three of the above sites for promoting their business, as well as providing various levels of customer support and customer service.
Last Thursday I did my normal morning routine of checking email, phone messages, and with a few remaining moments before the first of what appeared to be an endless series of scheduled teleconferences, checked my LinkedIN account.
I been a member of LinkedIN for several years, and have accumulated a couple hundred "connections," and joined a handful of industry-related groups. I am not completely open to receving LinkedIN invitations, but do give each invitation a quick background check if I immediately recall why or how I know a person requesting to be a connection. Pretty much the same as everybody.
Well, on Thursday I sat back and thought, "how can I possibly know all these people in the connections list?" So I started to go through the directory of connections, and it was like going through a personal history book. Shortly after beginning my review, I caught myself wondering out loud, "wow, haven't heard from that guy since I lived in London 10 years ago - wonder what he is doing..."
Remember the good old days. Those days when after graduating from high school you could pretty much forget about all your classmates, as within two weeks of finishing school we were scattered to the four winds? Your buddies in the army, whom you forgot about within a week of transferring to a new assignment? Frat or sorority friends whom you have not contacted in the past 20 years?
Social networking sites have started changing all the rules of how we interact with others. Sites ranging from classmates.com to MySpace are bringing not only entirely new communities together, but also bringing us back in touch with those whom we spent quality time with in prior phases of our lives.
Professionally, there also social networking sites that have stood out among their peers - Facebook and LinkedIN. What makes both of these sites unique is the number of members. For example, LinkedIN claims over 35 million users representing more than 200 countries, with executive membership from all Fortune 500 companies. That is a lot of people.