Social Networking Sites: What You Need to Know Before You Join

Social networking sites have taken the very act of socializing to a level that triggers a panic-paranoia type reaction in some persons while others tend to feel like they are tuned in to 24/7 soap operas. The reality is, when we do not use these networks responsibly we risk privacy invasion among other fraudulent and malicious activities. However once we are able to ascertain our objectives and requirements, personal or business, we will be able to build connections that are more positive and substantial in experience.

There are several networking sites worldwide; sites such as Flickr, Eons.com and CafeMom that target users by offering services based on specific interests and activities. Then there are more general types like Facebook, Bebo, Tribe.net and Twitter. The fact is, if you join several sites you will eventually become overwhelmed and will not truly benefit from the experience as it will take more time and effort to maintain a presence and ultimately network with other members. There is nothing wrong in being a member of different groups; however the success of each experience is determined by the number of groups joined as well as the combination of groups.

Many of us are familiar with Facebook, MySpace, Tagged. They are all general type communities with millions of users worldwide; there are also groups such as Hi5 and MyLOL which tend to be more popular in specific countries. Social networking is not for everyone, but for those interested in expanding their horizons, it’s best to choose carefully. The first steps would be to find out what the site offers; its market niche and credibility. That is, ensure that the information you choose to share is safe. A good place to check for in depth information on social networking sites is www. social-networking-websites-review.toptenreviews.com; It gives reviews on the more popular websites along with how they are ranked using criterion such as security, networking features, profiles and technical support.

In addition, with the aid of modern technology, it is now possible for people especially for social media influencers to getfans instantly. This allows them to build their network in a short span of time. As a result, they are able to get more benefits from it.

Having a trial period by using an anonymous or fictitious profile is another way to investigate before you ‘put yourself out there’ and conferring with friends and family to find out what their individual experiences are, will give insight which more likely includes their annoyances and regrets. Once you gather all the required data your choice will be much easier. It’s simpler to choose the sites that are specific to interests than choosing one that is general in content. For example Flickr is mainly a photo/video sharing site, for professionals or otherwise. So if you know you are not into photography, you know that Flickr is not for you.

Here is a personal insight to three of the more popular (general) networks:

MySpace

MySpace paved the path for social networking sites although it has been surpassed by Facebook; however it still holds an appeal that causes members to stay loyal. Although the site offers a blogging service, the blogs are more of a personal than an informative note. MySpace is great for the following:

Maintain anonymity,    Meet new people, and    Explore other sides to your personality

Facebook

If you long for a family or high school reunion, Facebook is the place to get it. Facebook is ideal for keeping in touch with family, friends and acquaintances from all over the world through applications such as photo sharing, direct messaging, online conversations and status updates. Because this site offers a more closed knit feel, you will be comfortable in what you share, knowing that you are not divulging to complete strangers.

Twitter

Twitter is ideal for sharing business ventures and worldly information; breaking news, entertainment reports and celebrity interface are what you gain from joining this network. The site offers a micro-blogging service, where users share information in short status updates and notes to each other. If you want to market yourself, a service or product, Twitter can help. The best part is that your profile consists of a short bio, your location and profile picture, and you decide if and what you wish to share.

Although you have the option to deactivate or terminate an account, you will have no control, nor can you retract information that has already been shared. As such, the right move is to ensure you thread carefully and not dive in. Social networks are fun, interactive and edifying, but always remember that persons are able to hide behind the anonymity so try to minimize the number of locations that have your information.

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