Social Networks Are Not Personal

They’re professional.

There are plenty of social networks designed for personal use, but they all have professional implications and opportunities. And to ignore those issues is a mistake.

Your “Stuff” Is Exposed

Most social networks have some level of privacy to keep prying eyes away from your profile and content, but don’t assume it’s full proof. It’s safer to assume that anything you put on the Internet is public and always will be.

You can’t completely control who sees what you put online. Employers and potential employers can do a quick Google search and find out all kinds of things. The same holds true for a host of other people: law enforcement, creditors, business partners, etc.

But There’s Gold In Them Thar Social Networks

On the positive side, business opportunities abound on social networks, even if they weren’t designed for business. It’s simple. You put people together bound by common interests and get them hooked on participating with one another, and presto, business opportunities emerge.

Since starting on Facebook a month ago I’ve connected with numerous people from a business perspective, which may lead to future opportunities for Standout Jobs. I could have connected with those people via email, but social networks like Facebook (or tools like Twitter) captivate people’s attention; so it’s easier to reach them. When it comes to email, people are overwhelmed and generally hate it. So they’re slower to respond. But send someone a “friend request” on Facebook and they’ll answer almost immediately.

Regardless of whether you’re connecting with people online over your shared love of dogs, photos or cartoon dolls, you’ll build real relationships that can lead beyond the original purpose of the social network.

June 19, 2007 Posted in Business, Social Media by

  • http://www.businessblogger.net Business Blogger

    Great points Ben. If you don’t use social networks for professional gain then you should get started.

  • http://www.businessblogger.net Business Blogger

    Great points Ben. If you don’t use social networks for professional gain then you should get started.

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  • http://www.davidairey.com/one-very-simple-step-to-build-your-social-networks/ David Airey on social networki

    Hi Ben,

    I get so swamped with emails that I’m guilty of taking too long to respond.

    It’s funny though, and just as you say about Facebook requests. Perhaps there’s a stigma about business emails that makes people feel they need to be more detailed than necessary.

    Facebook et al on the other hand, it almost seems more relaxed.

  • http://www.davidairey.com/one-very-simple-step-to-build-your-social-networks/ David Airey on social networking

    Hi Ben,

    I get so swamped with emails that I’m guilty of taking too long to respond.

    It’s funny though, and just as you say about Facebook requests. Perhaps there’s a stigma about business emails that makes people feel they need to be more detailed than necessary.

    Facebook et al on the other hand, it almost seems more relaxed.

  • http://bloggingforbusinessbook.com Ted Demopoulos, Blogging for B

    Ben,
    As I always stress, and remind and remind and remind, the Internet is PUBLIC.

    Assume anything can and will be found. Your personality should certainly show through, but not everything in our lives needs nor should be public.

    Remember that whether you are writing something personal, professional, or other, everybody will be able to see it: your wife, potential business partner, boss, client, green grocer, criminals and big brother.

  • http://bloggingforbusinessbook.com Ted Demopoulos, Blogging for Business

    Ben,
    As I always stress, and remind and remind and remind, the Internet is PUBLIC.

    Assume anything can and will be found. Your personality should certainly show through, but not everything in our lives needs nor should be public.

    Remember that whether you are writing something personal, professional, or other, everybody will be able to see it: your wife, potential business partner, boss, client, green grocer, criminals and big brother.

  • http://www.balez.ca/mat Mat

    As far as I’m concerned, the social network is the center of the new Web. There is huge value in the relationship map, and there is still is a huge opportunity for someone to own this space.

    As I’ve said for some time now, I think Yahoo needs to buy Facebook and move on with it…

  • http://www.balez.ca/mat Mat

    As far as I’m concerned, the social network is the center of the new Web. There is huge value in the relationship map, and there is still is a huge opportunity for someone to own this space.

    As I’ve said for some time now, I think Yahoo needs to buy Facebook and move on with it…

  • http://blog.carlmercier.com Carl

    Mat,

    I think you’re right. Yahoo needs to do something to stay in the game because quite frankly, they are losing the search war. Acquiring Facebook is probably the best way to be relevant again.

  • http://blog.carlmercier.com Carl

    Mat,

    I think you’re right. Yahoo needs to do something to stay in the game because quite frankly, they are losing the search war. Acquiring Facebook is probably the best way to be relevant again.

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Mat – I like your terminology there, “the social network is the center of the new Web.”

    As for Yahoo buying Facebook – whoever buys Facebook is going to get a huge boost in many ways, and things are certainly shaking up at Yahoo with Jerry Yang taking over as CEO…so who knows…

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Mat – I like your terminology there, “the social network is the center of the new Web.”

    As for Yahoo buying Facebook – whoever buys Facebook is going to get a huge boost in many ways, and things are certainly shaking up at Yahoo with Jerry Yang taking over as CEO…so who knows…

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  • http://www.aprilgroves.com April Groves

    I hit on the “your stuff is out there” point all the time. My first encounter with blogging was myspace. I created the account to keep up with family and friends all over. Of course it feed the voyeur tendencies and I read a lot of “stuff.” It never ceases to amaze me what people will put out on the web. Even read some places where the authors instructed readers not to pass on the information they had read in the blog. Huh? They must be kidding.

    As a blogger, I attempt to remain real, honest, and transparent, without crossing over into the laundry mat.

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    April – That’s quite funny – people asking readers not to pass information along. Um…silly, silly, silly.

    I do agree – people put all kinds of stuff online – for whatever reason they think no one they want to keep that information away from will find it. That’s a huge mistake.

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  • http://www.mypage.com jawbreaker

    Hi there!…I have tried mypage.com, it’s free and its nice. They have a lot of apps.and also communities you can be a part of.(“:)

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Ben Yoskovitz
I'm VP Product at GoInstant (acq. by Salesforce).

I'm also a Founding Partner at Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator in Montreal. Previously I founded Standout Jobs (and sold it).

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