For many, this will be preaching to the choir, but maybe for a few it will alleviate or clarify what social networking is about.Â I will speak only of the sites I am using and am still learning how to use.
Picture yourself at the family reunion or a party that you or a friend is hosting.Â You ask what they have been up to.Â How are the kids?Â How did that soccer game go last night?Â Did you catch the Emmys last night? Who did you want to win?Â Now, instead of these conversations being oral, picture them being written.Â This is Facebook.Â It is simple, familiar and unforced conversation between family and friends.
You are at the office party.Â You know these people only through co-workers.Â Conversations take the tone of professional support or experiences.Â Families are asked about, but more to try to get a little more familiar in an atmosphere in which conversation is not a distraction.Â You offer support and advice for career directed issues. This is LinkedIn.Â
Plaxo is very much like LinkedIn.Â My own perception is that it is easier to direct your conversation to specific groups than LinkedIn, but maybe I haven't found the key to LinkedIn. For those who don't know what a group is - you can choose to join a "clique" on line.Â Commonly referred to as a "Group" in social networking, it is a choice you have to be a part of a group with specific interests.Â You are still a part of the general public, but can decide you want to wander over to your clique at any time.
You are at your local real estate association, chatting with other Realtors.Â You are at a neighborhood get together and someone asks you about a specific house, a real estate challenge they are having or about a specific house.Â This is Trulia.Â You can go on as a professional or as the public.Â There are very popular Realtors there who will enlighten you on a problem you might be having in hopes of encouraging you to do business with them.Â
You are on the phone, about to lose your connection.Â Your conversation must get to the point in a very efficient manner, so you keep it short.Â This is Twitter.Â Conversation is generally one-sided and reaction to the information given is not always received. You do share what you wish to share, in 140 characters or less. This is Twitter.
You are at a party of friends, co-workers and relatives and the theme of the party isÂ generally real estate, with a little personal conversation thrown in.Â You have questions about a real estate issue.Â You have a personal observation or inspiration.Â You need to rant. This is Active Rain.Â In my humble opinion, it is the Granddaddy of Social Networkiing for real estate.Â You leave this party better educated, better informed and inspired.
Well, that is the long and short of it.Â I hope that this has clarified what for some is mind boggling.Â If anyone has some additional sites they wish to share or additions or corrections to my observations, feel free!