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Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – Confused Yet?

There are three main players in the social networking arena, and each has its place.  If you try to use each one the same way, you will get really frustrated, really fast.  And you are probably frustrated enough already.  There is a great tweet that I keep seeing on twitter (don’t know the original source):

Facebook friends are people who you went to high school with, Twitter friends are people that you wished you went to high school with.

I think this very accurately describes the difference between the two networks.

At one end of the spectrum, Facebook is personal and private, no matter how public Mark Z wants to make it.  It is used to plan events, share photos, and communicate with friends.  I don’t use Facebook a lot, but when it comes to getting updates and seeing pics of friends kids, there is no better place online.  A lot of people complain about privacy issues with Facebook, but hey guess what – Be prepared for anything you put up anywhere on the internet to become public, and if you don’t want something to be public, then don’t put it on the Internet!

In the middle is LinkedIn, a Facebook type site for professionals.  LinkedIn is your professional social network on the internet.  I maintain a pretty good profile there and I encourage people to connect with me, and maintain profiles.  There are good connections to be made, decent groups to join, and good conversations to participate in.  Your profile can be private, or it can be public, and your first degree connections pave the way to second and third degree connections, putting a lot of resources at your finger tips.

At the other end of the Spectrum is Twitter.  Twitter is public.  You tweets can be read by anyone at anytime.  I follow people and organizations on twitter that I find interesting,  and that I learn from; and I tweet news and articles that I find interesting, spreading my knowledge to my followers.  The majority of twitter users don’t tweet, they just listen, which is just fine.  It took me quite a while to “get” twitter, but now it is pretty much my single source for news and information.   There are people talking about Knowledge Management and Enterprise 2.0, there are people talking about SharePoint, there are a few good people talking about automation and controls, and a little bit of software, and there is a great local London community that I have started engaging with.  And of course news, some comic relief, and a few good corporate tweeters.

So I tried to explain at a high level what the differences are between the 3 main players.  There are way more details and opinions that could be discussed, but if you want to get into it, the above are good rules to follow.  The last tidbit I will share is this:  Your online profiles define who you are to your followers.  You are only one person, so don’t fake your online presence and try to be multiple people or someone you are not.  Be genuine and passionate.

Any other questions?

Posted in 2.0 Lessons, Social Media.

One Response

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  1. Ken McLaughlin says

    Great breakdown and post!

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