How I Participate in Social Networks

ValeriaMaltoniBrandCampU2009 I'm borrowing a page off the Communicatrix blog to lay out how I participate in social networks.

Why? Because we all have a different strategy to how we spend our time and energy to be social and to achieve our goals and since we have a strategy, in the spirit of social, we should make it transparent. [hat tip to Skip Shuda for suggesting it]

I've been getting more than many requests from several people in many
networks lately. Requests to friend, requests to tweet, to forward, to
bookmark, to stumble, the list goes on.

Being online for the best part of my day makes me very accessible. That
I am, of course. I'm open to engaging with reasonable people who take the
time to engage with me and reasonable/respectful requests that match my values.

You cannot be expected to know what my settings are on each
network. If I don't give you a reference point, you will likely use
your own settings as context. It's not fair to you, nor it is to me.

My overall philosophy about life — and social network participation is:

  • be helpful
  • be in conversation
  • connect ideas and people

Things are changing all the time, so I suspect that as new networks come online and we transition to different kinds of work, the social network participation policy will keep up with those changes. The page will go up on the sidebar, right by the online outposts.

I covered the main networks. For the others, you can refer to my simple philosophy.


What about you?

Have you thought of publishing a social network policy to communicate how you participate in different networks? Do you have the same settings everywhere? Why/why not?

0 responses to “How I Participate in Social Networks”

  1. You ARE clear in communicating your overall philosophy about life — and social network participation ~ one reason your blog was the first I subscribed to when I started my journey into Social Networking, and I am still here ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ When one first becomes involved in SN it looks and feels like a sea of chaos and I was out to find Islands of order where I could start the learning and participating process. I like things stated in simple, understandable and usable terms. Cathy Larkin @CathywebsavvyPR and @Dannybrown were two others that come immediately to mind with Islands I could perch on from time to time.
    I defined my overall philosophy early in my SM life with my 6 word bio ~ Building Bridges Between People ~ Designing Success, and your “About You” and “Conversation” post hi-lighting me, helped me to the next step. However, it’s only now that I have could finally write that difficult ” About me” post which I hope will adequately define my roll (really how I see myself and hope others will) in this ever evolving, fascinating NEW connectedness. @CASUDI

  2. One more thing to add to your list – explore and learn. There are tons of knowledgeable people discussing every possible subject. I tap into that knowledge people every day, often without intending to. This is what separates social media from every other endeavor that we can do on a daily basis.

  3. I don’t know that I engage people in the same way across every network. Ultimately for me, the goal is to be helpful. Not everyone uses a particular social network the way that I do (for example, I’m a big fan of LInkedIn but others in my network don’t use it as much as I do). I connect with my community where they feel comfortable connecting (for some that’s Facebook, for other’s it’s Twitter, for some it’s the newsletter). In the end, the goal as I said in the beginning, is to be accessible and helpful.
    P.S. I really like your philosophy:
    be helpful
    be in conversation
    connect ideas an people

  4. Hi Valeria,
    What I like about your philosophy is it is very simple and I think a recipe for guaranteed success.
    * be helpful
    * be in conversation
    * connect ideas and people
    The results will be determined by how well, or not, that you do these things.

  5. Great point. I agree that people refer to their own rules of engagement in social media when they do not know your rules/philosophy.
    I need to outline my principles in an upcoming blog post of my own. ~Thanks

  6. @CASUDI – thank you for the vote of confidence, Caroline. I’m glad our paths crossed. You have been an inspiration and a good friend online. Hope we will be able to meet in person in the not too distant future. “Building Bridges Between People ~ Designing Success” I like that.
    @John – learning is who I am, so thank you for suggesting that line of thought. I see the philosophy more like a behavioral setting. What we do with it — for example, learn, love, build relationships — are all outcomes. Good thinking.
    @Ricardo – we also tend to gravitate towards certain networks at certain times, don’t you find that to be the case? It depends on the phases of our professional path and what we seek and find.
    @Mark – yes. Thank you for putting it so well.
    @Greg – looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Going through the exercise also helps us learn about our own preferences.

  7. Valeria,
    Your philosophy as behavioral setting is a nice framework for how we might translate our goals/objectives into Social Media activity. I love the questions being raised in this thread:
    – what is your guiding philosophy for using Social?
    – do they vary by channel?
    – do you use SM differently at different times?
    Our conversation was sparked by your Twitter post about pruning channels that you don’t use anymore. I’ve had a tension about having abandoned outposts for my company and myself…
    Snow will keep me in the office today… so I’ll get started on my Social Media Policy page. Thanks for lighting the fire, Valeria. (and thanks so much for the hat tip too!)

  8. Valeria,
    Simply well said. I have not made a formal “policy” in regards to how I engage on different social networks – mostly because I feel that it is constantly evolving as I continue to explore and learn myself. I do like the idea, however, and will consider doing so in the future.
    Thanks for the insightful post – as always.
    Christine Perkett

  9. Hi Valeria!
    I believe a social network policy is helpful especially when you use so many for different reasons. Facebook for close friends, LinkedIn for professional matters, Twitter for ____, etc. Hopefully I can get to a point someday where I need to make one for myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. My behavioral guides/habits/philosophy:
    # seek connections
    # seek diversity
    # be generous of spirit
    # practice mindfulness
    #fidelity to the above regardless of what I think at the time.
    Though less about social media and more about life.

  11. @PierLuca – interessante ๐Ÿ™‚ Grazie.
    @Skip – it’s a good research project. Given your recent work on bubbled and behaviors, this may fit well into the set of considerations we should be aware of when we approach customers and partners. Organizations have settings, too. And so do brands.
    @Christine – I kept thinking “don’t they know that?” Of course, people don’t read minds, right? It was a good exercise.
    @Anthony – nonsense ๐Ÿ˜‰ You have people who know you and love you and want to be connected and it’s useful for them to know how you navigate social networks.
    @Peter – the last one is the hardest for me. I like how you insert spirit and mindfulness, attitude and approach with action.

  12. Re: “we also tend to gravitate towards certain networks at certain times, don’t you find that to be the case? It depends on the phases of our professional path and what we seek and find.”
    Yes, I absolutely think that’s the case (at least for me anyway). Ultimately, I connect with people in different ways and on different networks. I know where my community resides and I share with them there.

  13. I think this is very useful, Valeria. It’s a good way of setting a clear (ish) boundary.
    Being online and participating invites certain assumptions and without all the paralinguistic stuff things are often misunderstood.
    I like this idea and will probably try and formulate something that sets my own position.
    Your blog consistantly raises the bar. Thank you.

  14. @Ricardo – I like how you think in terms of context and situation. That’s key and what keeps us in balance with ourselves, while we put who we are out there.
    @Jon – we all inspire each other and when we’re present in conversation, there is a lot we can learn. Feel free to steal the idea. That’s why I put them out here. They need to get done ๐Ÿ˜‰

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