As and online professional I maintain a major presence on most social networking sites such as Myspace, FaceBook and BlackPlanet. Through these online communities, I've found thousands and thousands of "Friends".
Now don't get it twisted. I do not collect friends like baseball cards. I have read each, and every persons profile, in my Friend list. I personally approved their Friend request because, I believe they have something special to offer the Black online Diaspora.
If you search my Friend list, you will find everything you need to create, market, and sell, Rich Media and digital content in the new millennium; writers, Directors, Producers, Actors, Photographers, Models, Dancers, Musicians, Promoters, Distributors, Web Masters, Software Developers, Marketeers, etc...Yes, even Lawyers, Doctors, and Indian Chiefs (think CEO)
If you're a regular reader of my online journal/Blog, then you know I joined these networks with a purpose. I hope all my new friends, are enjoying this online publication.
I post articles, and stories such as this one, in order, to educate, empower, and stimulate discussions, on issues of importance to our culture.
Successful networking is a two-way street. It's NOT all about you. In order to build a friendship/relationship there must be common ground. Most online profiles reveal the basics about a person (who, what and where)
One of your first messages to a new friend should reflect what you've read about them online. Let them know you're interested in them, their field of endeavor, or lifestyle (music, books, sports, etc)
Myth #2: It's A Popularity Contest.
Quality trumps quantity in human relationships, every time. You don't want a hundred messages a day about things you don't care about. You want to receive info on things that interest you. If you're meeting people for business or social reasons, your friend list should reflect your interests.
I can generally judge what a person is into, by the type of friends they have. So if you're into music, your friends should reflect this. Relatively, if you're about business, one would expect your friend list to be full of entrepreneurs....birds of a feather, flock together
Myth #3: It's A Quick Hit.
Friends call friends...friends visit friends. If you're not receiving an email or comment from a friend at least once a month, then they're just a name in cyberspace...not a real friend
The most you can hope for at an initial online meeting is to make a contact that (with care and time) could blossom into a fruitful relationship. Be diligent about following up and staying in contact with your online friends.
Myth #4: It's hard work.
It may be that you're working too hard. Friendships happen naturally. If you introduce yourself to people, stay in touch with people you've met, and think, in every interaction, "How could I help this person?"...you'll have an enjoyable and productive online relationship.
You're surfing the Internet anyway...why not pass along information or events that you think your friends might be interested in; for example there's a sale on at Target, I read about a job opening on Monster, have you seen the latest Obama ad....
Myth #5: It's A Waste Of Time.
Your time will surely be wasted if you approach each interaction as an opportunity hawk your wares, push your cause, or sign someone up. Conversely if every time you read a message it's about information you can use...your time will be well spent.
Knowledge is power. If you pick your friends with commonality and good sense, your online experience will be invaluable. Like in the real world, they will be there for you through the good times and the bad.
Always remember that the same rules apply in the virtual world that applies to the real world. If you want friends...then you must show yourself to be friendly!
I have found social networks to be an ideal platform to network and make new relationships. In that regards, below is some good advice on social networking
Remember, We Must Share The Knowledge (Network)... To Share The Dollars!!!
Peace and Gods Blessings,