Social Networks: Coffee for everybody

Hello!! Finally I’m back 🙂 After some busy months, ending my MBA, I managed to get some time to write about Social Networks. “Coffee for everybody” is a spanish sentence meaning “One size fits all”, or a situation where the same solution is applied to everybody, satisfying no one.

So, we’re going to talk about Social Networks. One topic that has been discussed a lot, but I think it is still worth. If you are interested, stay with me five minutes, and let’s have a funny view on it.

Redes sociales para gustos...colores

Social Networks, is there a need for them?

Well, everybody has an opinion. It is clear, however, that human beings are social, and like to share what happens to us. That doesn’t mean that you should publish everytime you go to the toilette, or take a picture of the dish each time you are in a restaurant. We all have some annoying acquaintance and, what used to be five minutes cornered against the coffee machine, can now turn into a constant siege on your social networks. To avoid it, two simple advises:

  • Manage properly your trust circles: as we’ll see later on, each network offers tools to limit what are you sharing to whom, as well as to filter the news shown to you.
  • If you would rather avoid seeing feet in the beach pictures while at the office, do not visit Instagram. Each network has a scope, use the ones that suits you. Later on this article I will give you my personal view on each network.

Summing up, social networks are as necessary as you want them to be. You may feel an impending need to share your experiences, or things you stumble upon, and then they are really useful to reach your audience. Or you could be a freak someone without socializing needs, rather on your own, and then they are  superfluous. Anyway, from the prospective of their success in the last years, it seems that we all like to share, to some extent.

 To each, his own

Social networks offer is huge nowadays, and it’s clear you can’t be on each one. To me, and I like to try as many tools as I can, it feels impossible. Simply, you can’t manage every network. So it is important to identify which are relevant for you. Following, we are going to review the main social networks and their characteristics, so you can choose the ones you like the most, or that better suit you. For the time being, we will center on the personal use, as professional use of social networks would mean a complete post on their own 🙂

Facebook

  • Characteristics: the better known among social networks. The Social Network.
  • Usage: sharing images, creating shared events, post your daily life… almost anything you can imagine.
  • Dangers: even your grandma is in Facebook. Your friends tag you in drunken embarrassing inappropriate pics. Be careful.
  • Precautions: do not accept in your network someone you would not like to see what you share. If unavoidable, use Facebook lists and be careful to choose the scope of your updates (default=public, but you can change it using the globe icon present when writing it).
  • Recommendation: Facebook is the network I use to keep in touch with my friends. Even though I also follow some characters/companies whose updates I find interesting, it is clearly a personal-ludic usage. Hence, you have to check privacy settings.

Twitter

  • Characteristics: defined as a microblogging network. Tell what you want… in 140 chars or less.
  • Usage: follow the pulse of actuality. Keep updated on people you are interested on. Organize an Arab Spring.
  • Dangers: two, very big. First, following too many people, so your timeline is so saturated that you miss interesting things. Second, becoming an annoyance, twitting EVERYTHING you do, so people get fed up with you.
  • Precautions: first, if you are really interested in so many people, use twitter tools to create lists, and group users by topic, but try to keep it simple. Make periodic cleanups (if user X hasn’t twitted anything interesting in two months, show no mercy and take him out). And, of course, be careful with what you twit.
  • Recommendation: use it to know what is happening in the world you are interested in. For me, it replaced TV news.

Google+

  • Characteristics: used only by Google engineers. No, seriously, though sometimes you can see tumbleweed like in a Western movie, there’s a lot of interesting communities. Every blogger should be in, as Google improves positioning of pages linked to a profile on their network.
  • Usage: thematic communities, a lot of them technical. By default, if you have a Google account, you have a Google+ profile.
  • Dangers: dying within Google+ and nobody realizing. Having so many gmail accounts that you never know which profile you are using.
  • Precautions: do not forget that you have a profile, take care of it and visit it every now and then.
  • Recommendation: if you want to create content, create your profile and upload a pic (it appears on search results).

Linkedin

  • Characteristics: professional networking. Every professional should have a decent profile.
  • Usage: for most people, job hunting. For “advanced” users, sharing news related to your job, keeping up to date and managing your professional contacts pool.
  • Dangers: announcing a new job before telling your actual company, believing it is Facebook and upload countless pictures or  make banal comments in front of your boss and colleagues.
  • Precautions: it is one side more of your professional life so… you must be professional.
  • Recommendation: take care of your profile, take your time to write it and to describe your experience and, above all, use a decent picture. Avoid party pictures, or lying on the couch.

Pinterest

  • Characteristics: photography network. Allows adding pictures you have found online to your virtual board.
  • Usage: to me, it is another way of following people or companies. Professionally it is more relevant as a way to create an online portfolio or catalog.
  • Dangers: the same as every network where you upload pictures to.
  • Precautions: nothing special, for the moment.
  • Recommendation: good place to watch quality pictures, if you choose to follow the right users. A way to keep an album of pictures you like but are not worth downloading.

Instagram

  • Characteristics: social network for hipsters photography fans with a taste for vintage looks. Through their mobile app allows applying filters to pictures and uploading them.
  • Usage: publishing pics of the steak you are going to have, or make your friends jealous when you are on holiday.
  • Dangers: believing you are a professional photographer after applying a couple filters to an average picture. Turning your 600€ smartphone into a 80’s camera.
  • Precautions: take care with the type and number of pics you upload (‘Nuff said!).
  • Recommendations: entertaining but, if you’re really into it, follow a photography (or Photoshop) course.

Foursquare

  • Characteristics: geolocation based network. Sharing with the world where you are now.
  • Usage: bragging when you are at a cool place.
  • Dangers: nobody gives a shit cares about where you are..
  • Precautions: if you don’t want to disclose where you are, do not publish it. If you have a stalker, delete your profile.
  • Recommendations: give it a chance, you will be over it in two weeks (unless you are travelling a lot, and use it to keep track of where you’ve been).

So that was it. As always, this is my personal view, and you probably do not share it. If you do, or you want to add something, use the comment form at the bottom. Seriously, I am interested in your opinion 🙂

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Social Networks: Coffee for everybody
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Social Networks: Coffee for everybody
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Do you know how to get the most out of your Social networks? In this connected society it is key to know in which social networks you should be in. Learn how to use social networks specific tools, and how to manage them to your benefit.
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franciscobenito.es
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