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Monday, March 8, 2010

The Joy (and Pain) of Social Networking

I've been increasing my online presence this year, and it's going quite well.  I've made friends on Facebook.  I've connected with colleagues on LinkedIn.  I have a few of tweeps on Twitter.  I have a handful or regulars that read this blog (thank you, by the way).  Recently I started a website and a Facebook fan page.  I've enjoyed it much more  than I'd expected.  I love reading tweets from @iannarino, blog posts from Seth Godin, and status updates from my friend Tracey. 

There have been a few people along the way that make the experience less enjoyable, particularly on twitter.  You know who I mean: the people who follow your tweets hoping that you'll follow theirs.  The ones that send a personalized message that is clearly scripted.  Those who send several updates a day with a link to their website hoping to drive traffic.  I quickly remove them from my contacts, but in doing so I usually notice something disturbing: they have thousands of followers!  Thousands of people who are bombarded with spam from their "friends" because they are trying to make new contacts.

I'm currently following 6 people on twitter.  Only 6.  But I find them all interesting, and I enjoy getting new tweets.  I only have 34 friends on Facebook.  But I know most of them personally, and I love seeing how life is treating each of them.  I follow 15 blogs, and I look forward to new posts appearing in my reader (a list of the blogs I currently follow is on the home page). 

I purposely keep all of my social networks small so I can manage them.  I keep them small so I can be more social.
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