Let’s Do Some Social Networking (Not for Softball Guy)

It’s almost rare these days to meet someone who isn’t on MySpace or Facebook or involved in some sort of online social network. Those that aren’t usually fall into one of three categories:

1) The first are the seniors or Champions Tour members of our society due to the fact that, let’s just face it, lack the now nearly innate skills (computer and social) required to handle the complexities of this new medium. They deserve a pass and special kudos for getting on board. C’mon, you can keep in touch with the grandkiddies!

2) The second group are those members of generations Baby Boom and X due to a number of factors including, but not limited to – jobs, families, apprehension, “don’t get it”, they just don’t have the time, and their kids don’t want them on. I believe that we’ll start to get a lot more converts from this group once they realize it’s not just for kids and twenty-somethings, but can actually help you professionally (we’ll address this later).

3) The third group are those that believe they are just too cool for MyFace or Spacebook or because “that %#@! is just for high school girls”. Everyone has a few friends who are still holding out just to be contrarian or for the attention they get when people ask them why they aren’t on. You can usually recognize this guy (it’s usually a guy) by the fact he’s in a three summer softball leagues, has meetings regarding said leagues in the winter, and is still holding onto that high school dream in hopes that Dave Dombroski will attend that West Michigan Softball Classic and recognize what every one else has somehow missed these last ten years.

What I’m getting at is that unless you have a good excuse, there’s no reason not to be utilizing social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter just to name a few (besides bands and other artists, MySpace really is just for high school girls). Just look at it as another way to get yourself out there, socially and professionally. Instead of breaking down each site and explaining how you can benefit just look at it from the perspective of a company. Let’s face it, when you boil everything down we’re all just our own personal brands. Just like Google, Nike, Apple, Volkswagen, Obama, etc we’re all subject to positive and negative perceptions. If you drink too much and hit on your best friend’s girlfriend, that’s bad PR…you jump in front of oncoming traffic to save a little old lady, your stock as a human being goes up. Everything else is somewhere in between. Social networking is a way to effectively manage your own personal brand identity. Facebook allows you to connect. LinkedIn allows you to promote. Twitter allows you to be heard. Never before have individuals been able to so effectively control the message and therefore who they are…and isn’t that what PR…and life…is all about?


2 Responses to Let’s Do Some Social Networking (Not for Softball Guy)

  1. mallory says:

    Hi paul
    other people have indeed drafted me into facebook and now – this – I am not all that deeply into promoting me or my works (am I a brand?) but I like to stay in touch with people doing interesting things and who have something to say and are keen to widen …
    I have just read an engaging novel (Anglo-Ukrainian author)
    A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Penguin. Maria Lewycka – funny, informative, different …
    I am writing a short article – small chance of publication – on Sebastian Faulks’ book Engleby, which, with his other book Human Traces is a very ambitious effort to connect our lack of understanding of the macro universe, the micro obverse and the sensory world between which, perhaps as an experimental thought, offers insight into those upper and lower realms especially when it itself goes wrong …
    on a more utilitarian matter, it would be excellent for someone to produce a short clear article on current methods of measuring and assessing any impact of how people use these new message systems (number of “hits” per webpage, overall, per week, whatever, is too crude – I’m not going to do this – h ow ab out you!

  2. pkanan says:

    Mallory! Great to hear from you. I’m doing this blog for a new course at MSU entitled “New Media Drivers License”, which aims to give students a leg up by teaching the latest professional applications for digital media. I agree with your assessment that an article on the use of new media, especially social media, and its impact would be interesting and timely. Perhaps we could do a joint venture once I graduate this spring.

    I hope you’re well! I plan on taking you up on your Faulks recommendations as soon as time allows for more leisurely reading. I’ll send you an email shortly with my latest readings.



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