Social networking or round, round, round, round, I get around

by Christina Geyer on June 26, 2007 · 9 comments

A little while ago, I got invited by friends to join LinkedIn and Facebook. I decided to take the opportunity to check out some of the other social networking sites as well.

Facebook is great. I really dig it, but it would be better if I had a few more friends (I’ve got 8 at the moment). Due to the personal nature of the information that is up on my profile there, I’m only connecting with people I am friends or family with in the “real world” (or was friends with – in high school for example – and want to reconnect with). If you fall into this category, sending me a “friend” invitation should be easy.

MySpace is much talked about and I really don’t get the hype. Okay, my only friend is Tom, the MySpace founder, maybe that has something to do with it. The site isn’t as easy to use as the others I tried out, I had profiles up and running in minutes on all the other sites, I still am not happy with my profile here. I also don’t like that it doesn’t search your address book for people you know who are already members. I don’t know who of my friends are members and I’m certainly not going to take the time to search for each of their names! Anyways, I’ll friend anyone on here (as long as they’re not a spammer or otherwise suspicious looking!), so feel free to “friend” me – my MySpace profile.

LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can list your job experience and connect with friends and coworkers. You may also receive job and consulting offers though the site. I’ve read that it can take a while before you get any “action”, so I went ahead and signed up now. Maybe in a few months or a year, I’ll have worked up enough connections for it to pay off in a career. I’m not sure if I’ll link up here with people I don’t really know.

XING was recommended to me by a former colleague and LinkedIn contact and seems much like LinkedIn, but when I had it search my address book, I only came up with contacts in Germany who were already members, so it must be more German-centric. I’m not sure if I’ll link up here with people I don’t really know.

iLike is a music site that looks at your iTunes library and suggests friends with similar music tastes. You can then check out what your “friends” listen to and maybe find new bands you hadn’t considered. It works best if you install the iLike sidebar onto your iTunes. This is my second to last pick for usefulness, just ahead of MySpace. I think my taste in music is too eclectic for this site to help. I do like it’s music quiz though. It plays a song and you see how fast you can guess the song’s title or artist from multiple choice questions. It’s very addictive. Anyways, I’ll friend anyone on here that either I know (through blogging counts) or that I have a medium to high music match with, so feel free to “friend” me -my iLike profile.

StumbleUpon is a social networking site for which you install a toolbar on your browser and when you come across a webpage you like or dislike, you can give it a thumbs up or down. The more sites you rate, the better StumbleUpon gets to know what you like/dislike. You can them “stumble” random web pages, blogs, or news items that StumbleUpon recommends for you. I’ve had trouble getting into the habit of rating the sites that I visit. I also haven’t been that excited about the sites that have been recommended, but this site has been highly recommended by many bloggers out there, so try it, you might like it. I’ll friend anyone on here (as long as they’re not a spammer or otherwise suspicious looking!), so feel free to “friend” me – my StumbleUpon profile – my goodness, I just checked in and I have three fans – that’s a shocker!

Finally, and still my favorite social networking site, MyBlogLog. I love clicking on the little pictures people put up of themselves (or of whatever they want to represent themselves) and seeing what blogs they read and which they write themselves. Just by looking at who else is reading the blogs that I like to read I’ve found a ton of great blogs that I don’t think I would have found otherwise. View my MyBlogLog profile, view this blog’s community, view the communities to which I belong. If you have a blog, put it on here, and if I read it, I’ll be happy to join it’s community.

What do you think of these sites (if you’re a member)? Any other sites I should try out? Anyone have any experience with LibraryThing? Is there something similar for your movie library?

Update (1 Nov 2007): 

I’d say I’m pretty experienced with this stuff now and the only site I really use is Facebook (which I spend much too much time on).  I get a ton of spam from MySpace; LibraryThing only allows you to enter 200 books on a free account, then you gotta pay; and I loved MyBlogLog, but with a new baby, I don’t have time to read all the blogs I’m currently subscribed to in a timely manner, let alone start reading new ones!

LinkedIn and XING haven’t done anything for me because I’m not looking for work at the moment, but if you are, I HIGHLY encourage signing up on them.  I’d sign up for LinkedIn if you’re in the US or UK (I’ve been contacted by one recruiter in the UK for a position in Switzerland), and if you’re in Germany, definitely go for XING.  I was getting at least one recruitment email a week and it got so I had to write on my profile that I didn’t want work.  I still get recruiters writing to see if I know anyone they could contact.

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