Chapter 24. Social Networks

Social networking as a human activity predates any and all forms of digital technology. Conversation is the natural result whenever more than two people gather; people can't help themselves. Think about the last time you chatted about the weather with a couple of friends or even total strangers. Your conversation could have gone something like this:

  • "Is it going to rain?"

  • "I don't know, but my brother said it snowed in Denver last night."

  • "Your brother lives in Denver? I'm traveling to Denver in a couple of weeks."

This same basic conversation can be supercharged through social networking tools, because now you can connect someone directly to your brother in Denver via Facebook. Moreover, he has a list on his Facebook page of some of his favorite places to drink, dine, and visit. What could be better than some strong recommendations from somebody in your trusted network—even somebody you just met via someone else?

Monetizing these kinds of conversations could become part of your social media strategy. Imagine for a moment how this conversation about weather can be viewed in a different light if you work for a company that manufactures umbrellas or snow boots, or you run a wine bar in Denver.

Company and Tool Profiles

This chapter introduces you to the following companies, tools, and applications:

  • Bebo

  • Facebook

  • Friendster


  • LinkedIn

  • MOLI

  • MySpace

  • Ning

  • Orkut

  • Plaxo

As you read each profile, keep in mind that its features and functions may or may not be right for your ...

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