MyBlogLog has quickly become one of the most popular social networking sites around. It’s attracting bloggers by the thousands because it’s easy to use, fun, and a great way of connecting with others. Plus, the more you use it, the more it drives traffic to your site.
Ron McDaniel’s promotes social networking as one of his 57 buzz challenges.
There are tons of social networking sites out there, and niche ones popping up regularly. A friend of mine recently launched ilovetoplay.com (great name!) which helps sports participants connect. Looking for a goalie to play on your team? How about finding a few more teams to play basketball with? That’s what ilovetoplay.com is there to help you with — input your profile, find others and connect.
Others include LinkedIn and MySpace.
For entrepreneurs, Go Big Network looks quite interesting.
I strongly recommend that you use social networking sites to connect with others. A few pointers:
- Pick which sites you want to use carefully. Don’t sign up for every single social networking site out there. Look at other members, who you’re trying to connect with, and find the best possible social networking sites for you.
- Invest some time. Networking takes time. In-person and online. Invest the time to fill out your profile properly and hooking up with people. Ron recommends re-visiting a social networking site at minimum a few times per month and it will start to pay dividends.
- Play by the rules. Don’t screw around on social networking sites and try and game them. Adding thousands of contacts for the sake of it goes against the spirit of most social networking sites and will hurt your reputation.
- Give to receive. Like any form of networking, the more you give, the more you can get. If you’re not prepared to participate, help others, etc. don’t bother.
With that in mind (and another buzz challenge off my list), I also thought of an interesting way to do another of Ron’s buzz challenges. Specifically: E-mail a useful link to someone.
I do this all the time. It’s a great way of generating buzz, without a doubt. It keeps you top-of-mind with people and shows that you’re thinking about them. It shows that you know what people need which is one of the secrets to networking successfully.
Instead of emailing people links, I’m combining my use of MyBlogLog and blogtipping to share some helpful links with people. Blogtipping is the genius of Easton Ellsworth, and it’s insanely simple. On the first day of every month list 3 blogs that you like. Give 3 reasons why you like them. And, provide 1 tip to those bloggers as well.
Using MyBlogLog and my connections there, I scoured around for 3 worthwhile blogs that deserve your attention.
Blog #1: Andy Beard (feed)
- Ultra-informative but also extremely practical. Andy tests out and demonstrates a lot of the ideas he talks about, which is very helpful.
- The design is so clean and simple, it’s inspiring. And he adds some solid touches to make it unique (although I’m still not sure about the snowflakes!)
- He lives in rural Poland, in a small, 100-year old renovated cottage. How cool is that?
Tip: Not as much a tip as a question — why don’t we see “most popular posts” in the sidebar? I’d be curious about that. And why aren’t the words right under your name at the top of the blog links to something? They feel like a list of services to me, I’d love to click there and get some details!
Blog #2: Stephen Cooper (feed)
- Stephen is a personal trainer in Pasadena, California. It’s just cool to see people outside of the tech world blogging. But he’s clearly an entrepreneur too – just look at the sites he lists in the sidebar (Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Tom Peters, etc.
- He keeps his posts short and to the point. And he’s got a relaxed writing style. For his target audience I think those are both great attributes (actually, short and to the point and relaxed are always good!)
- He offers a good mixture of inspiration and perspiration. Stephen isn’t just talk, he’s providing tips and ideas for how to better your own health. It’s a good combination and I’m guessing a tough balance to achieve – he wants to motivate but also provide practical guidance.
Tip: Put the ABOUT link right under your picture. Make your picture clickable to the ABOUT page. Shrink the subscribe button just a bit to get those navigation links above the fold.
Blog #3: Redeye VC (feed) by Josh Kopelman
- I don’t know Josh (yet!) but he sends bottles of champagne to people. He can’t be half bad! (He started Half.com (which is now part of eBay.)
- He posts some great videos, which I hadn’t seen before, showing a level of creativity and value to the use of videos that goes beyond watching people do stupid stuff on YouTube.
- He’s got some great insight into the technology space, and provides it openly.
Tip: Having just discovered Josh’s blog through clicking around on MyBlogLog, my main tip (or request!) would be to post more often. (Oh, and take out the ad, you don’t really need that!)