Monday, July 29, 2013

How I use Social Media (LinkedIn and Facebook mainly)?

We cannot imagine our lives without Facebook and LinkedIn today. For many of us Twitter is also on this list. Which ones do I use? I use Facebook more for personal and LinkedIn more for professional life. I have linked my LinkedIn updates to Twitter and don’t really use Twitter directly. I also use Feedly and Flipboard to get and share news on my phone as I travel (not when I am driving).
I have used Klout and about.me but am not convinced of their utility yet. There are several new networking websites each year.  But it does appear for now that Facebook and LinkedIn are here to stay. Google+ is quickly gaining on Facebook and its integration with Blogger helps. Twitter has limited use for a discussion. It is more amenable to witty one-liners!
Which social networks do quality professionals use? Having interacted with a lot of quality professionals off line and online, I am certain that quality professionals are less likely to network online compared to several other professionals. Quality groups on LinkedIn are not as populated as some others and members are not as active. I don’t have much scientific data to back this but some quick checks did show I was right.
Why do I use LinkedIn actively? How actively? I have the LinkedIn app on my Android phone and browse news on it on my way to work and back. I use Feedly for this as well. I am able to quickly share what I like and I must confess that I enjoy when people like and respond to my updates. That’s engagement. I also use the app to accept or invite people to my network. I am able to wish other professionals on a job change or a birthday. This is already much more than what I thought a mobile app for LinkedIn could do.
Remaining active on LinkedIn satisfies my need to reach out and also to help those who reach out. The web version of LinkedIn features a full blown discussion forum. I often update or start a discussion in these forums and am never disappointed with the response.
I manage two groups on LinkedIn myself. The first one is called QualityNet. This was setup in 2008 (if I remember correctly) when one had to apply to LinkedIn for permission to setup a group. One had to design a logo and write a justification. Life is easier now. This group has 7167 members as of today and all are grown organically. The other group I setup and manage is the ASQ India group. This is a members only group used more for announcements and reaching out to members.

I have also used and still often use ASQ Communities. The new redesign is refreshing and appears more user-friendly than ever before. However, in my view it is going to be increasingly difficult to maintain traffic and engagement on proprietary or membership based networks. ASQ is still primarily American (something I have been fighting for seven years now) and it continues to insist on an American pricing model. This keeps away a vast majority of quality professionals from the developing world. By comparison LinkedIn is free (atleast for most features) and Quality professionals are likely to engage there more than on ASQ websites.

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