TECHY BLONDES ARE COOL
You will not turn into a Geek
The first thing I MUST assure you of, my darlings, is that becoming an online social networker will NOT transform you overnight into a GEEK. There may however be some occasions when, having been `online’ deep into the night talking to `virtual friends’ (by that I don’t mean the cocktail brigade, merely people you have not yet met in person) you MAY find that some of your `real life’ friends fall by the wayside. This is because you will be FAR too tired to take lunch with them the following day.
But it will be worth it….
In 2006, not only was beer beaten by the Ipod as the most `in thing’ among college students, it shared second place with Facebook, one of the premier social networking sites that are changing the way many people, not just college students, interact. But trust me darling, you don’t have to be a beer swilling student to use Facebook – us non-techy blondes can make a splash there too if we can only just try to work out what it’s all about. That is my avowed mission, and I would like all of you beautiful people who think that HTML stands for “Hurry To Make Lunch” to join me on this quest.
We know blondes are smart really
Hey, I have a brain, I just keep it in my head and don’t flaunt it around like a nice new dress. And social networking is definitely making me even smarter. For example, I sourced the information about the biannual studies done by the Student Monitor, a marketing research group focused on college students, from a woman’s networking site called `The Bag Lady‘ who sent me their newsletter right into my inbox. I merely clicked on their interesting article (Oh alright, I admit it, I mis-clicked and was MEANT to be opening up an email about `shopping for shoes’) but the point is my lovelies, that subscribing to a few networking groups can open up a whole new world of information and knowledge that you just won’t get chatting to your friends in the queue at Waitrose.
Which Sites Shall I Join?
For those of us who have experimented with dating sites (oh come on, don’t pretend you haven’t even PEEKED at those wonderful online shopping malls?) those conversations may have lacked genuine openness – or even interest.
However, you will find the quality of conversations on sites such as Facebook far superior, providing that you hang out with the right people. Like the business networking site Ecademy, Google `reads’ Facebook, so please note that the profile you post upon it will become a window into your life – so do make sure that you are looking your best.
Gentlemen’s Clubs or Starbucks?
Ecademy encourage a `coffee bar’ atmosphere, but I always feel when I’m there that I am still wearing my heels and trying not to swear in public. LinkedIn is almost like popping into the office for a quick chat on the way to lunch, which is nice but not exciting.
I advise you to explore all opportunities that these sites offer, but for now I shall be concentrating more on the `Starbucks’ sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Places to talk and share information and ideas, or in the case of Twitter, more like singing in the shower loud enough for the whole world to hear you.
Why would I want to be a `Blogger’?
Whilst getting a sense of which websites take your fancy, I want you first to understand the concept of `blogging’ and why it is a vital tool in your social networking handbag. Commenting on other people’s blogs allows you to share your knowledge, ideas, and to be useful. This helps raise your profile as someone worth talking to. But if you really want to allow a large group of people to interact with you and get to know you, then start your own blog, which you can link to from any networking sites you are a member of.
A Weblog is a diary in which you can rant on about anything you want, but unless you create some kind of response you will become bored awfully quickly. So encourage people to leave comments (your blog software will allow you this choice).
And when someone does argue back in the `comments’ section, you can either:
1/ `block’ their comments
2/ `publish’ their comments and then tear apart their argument in public (which is much more fun).
So whether you want to keep your distant relatives or lovers up to date with your life, rouse a hysterical fervor of support for a personal campaign, or build deeper relationships with business associates, look first at some good examples to follow.
I recommend the `short, pithy, campaigning’ style of Chris Brogan, the `full of intelligent commentary’ style of Jeremiah Owyang, and the `chatty’ style of SocialSet
For some people, getting started with blogging is as simple as buying a new pair of shoes. But for those of us who find choosing our wardrobe a major daily crisis, you can always find a kind Geeky friend to help you. Or even better, pay someone who knows what their doing. If you are happy to get your clothes `off the peg’ rather than made to measure, you will find that WordPress and Blogger are accessible even to those of us who still don’t know how to heat up coffee in the microwave, without causing all those lovely Firemen to come round for a visit.
TAGS AND KEYWORDS
Most blog templates or discussion forums worth the time of day will allow you to add tags and keywords. These are nothing to do with keeping track of criminals, but are everything to do with helping other people join in with your conversations. Key words that match those you add into your blogs, when typed into search engines by others, will see your blog in their search results. So if your blog was about “Dancing Naked on Midsummers Eve” you might use the following tags: “naked dancing, pagan rites, how to upset the neighbours”.
This is a wonderful little box that allows you to receive other people’s blogs or newsletters without you having to remember to go and check to see if they have arrived. Like getting the Sunday Times delivered to your door, only this service is free! You will need to have a way of `reading’ the RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) – Google Reader does the job nicely. You can also create an RSS feed from your own blog – but now my head is starting to hurt so we shall leave that for other time.
The RSS symbol looks like an orange that has been run over, with white markings, but usually has RSS written near by to save confusion. When you click on it, it will either make the whole process really easy and automated, or it will ask you to paste code into somewhere you can’t find, at which point you might want to ask a passing Geek to help you.
`LET’S BITCH’ – BLOGGING IS FUN
Well darlings, I popped onto Google and put in `blog templates’ and picked out WordPress at random, because it sounded respectable. I got quite carried away by the choice of colours and lovely pictures of the different templates.
Of course, I could have just stuck with the most `basic’ template but in a rush of uncharacteristic lazyness, I asked my lovely Geek friend Nik Butler (we all need at least one in our lives darling, trust me) to get me set up so that I could launch myself as a débutante on the social networking scene.
But I hear you question: “Is it really wise to present oneself on a social networking site as a `personality’, as `oneself’, rather than hide behind a `business persona’? Surely”, you say, “that must be like going out without wearing any make-up?”
I can assure you that it is entirely possible to be one’s self, fully made up, without hiding behind your logo. But if you disagree with me – post your comments below!