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Seeing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg interviewed on 60 Minutes a few months ago signified that the social networking Website has officially hit the mainstream. Millions of people were already members of the Website, but the demographic of 60 Minutes watchers wouldn’t typically be confused with that of Facebook and MySpace users. But a growing number of business people do understand how these Websites are being used to have conversations with people for the purpose of knowledge sharing, opinion swapping, and cultivating professional relationships.
Most people have heard of the very popular social Websites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and others. They present opportunities to connect with other like-minded people to explore possible business ventures. And the more active you are on the Websites, the more value can be derived. But there are other Websites, and acts, you may want to participate in to help boost your return on the time you invest building your credibility on the Web.
Twittering at Twitter.com
It’s taking me a while to appreciate the value of Twitter, a Website that lets you send short text messages to people who subscribe to receive your “tweets.” I know what you’re thinking: Why would anyone want to send (or receive) short status updates? Well I found out that sending short one-sentence messages quickly gets the word out, and saves me from having to craft longer, more time-consuming e-mail messages. Plus, you can send them from your mobile devices, and your Twitter messages easily integrate with Facebook and other Websites. So they can reach a pretty wide group of people, with minimal effort. In fact, some people are quicker to respond to “tweets” than to phone calls and e-mails.
Stumbling at StumbleUpon.com
StumbleUpon is a Website that lets you easily share with your network things you come across on the Web. If you like a blog post, you can use the StumbleUpon toolbar to mark it as “stumbled.” You can tag it and comment on it, but the key is that you’re sharing good information with those in your network, and they’re sharing it with you. This is incredibly helpful because the people you trust are sifting through tons of content and marking the good stuff, saving you the time and effort. And they are also “stumbling” on your content which could drive serious traffic and create “buzz” for you.
Pulsing at Plaxo.com
A while back, I used to get update messages from Plaxo members who used the service to keep track of their contacts. I was not a fan of Plaxo at the time, but I have since joined them in their reincarnation as a social network — Plaxo Pulse. What I like about Pulse is that it is a network of professional people, similar to the more popular LinkedIn. But Pulse has included many of the features you typically find in the more traditional social Websites. And when I write a blog post, I have it set up in Pulse to include a link to the post from my profile. The same goes for