Facebook, LinkedIn and Other Social Networking Sites
Facebook. I have a Facebook profile and I welcome Facebook friend requests. Just search for firstname.lastname@example.org or after you are logged in to Facebook, click here. On Facebook, I do not post the minute-by-minute updates about what I am doing or what I am thinking that so many people do. The fact that I am about to go grocery shopping, or that I just purchased a newspaper, I just don’t understand why someone would care to know this. In terms on knowing more about me, my Facebook profile is not going to tell you anything that is not on this Web site, unless you want to look at my friends list.
I sometimes use Facebook to send e-mails to friends. I find that spam filters are now so aggressive and so many people are clueless about adjusting their spam filters (assuming their e-mail package or service allows them to), that in some cases e-mails one sends do not get through. With Facebook, if I send someone an e-mail, I know they will receive the e-mail (assuming they check their Facebook messages).
LinkedIn. I also have a profile on LinkedIn, but if you want to know more about me, my biography on this site is more informative. I use LinkedIn to search for possible business contacts. My LinkedIn profile is here. LinkedIn’s search feature does not work very well with e-mail address (apparently the engineers at Facebook are smarter than the engineers at LinkedIn) so it’s better to go to the link. I welcome LinkedIn connection requests. (On LinkedIn, in case you are wondering what “LION” means, it means you will pretty much accept any connection request, so the person initiating a connection request does not need to worry that you will refuse and then he will get dinged by LinkedIn.
Plaxo. I am also on Plaxo. I don’t use it much but Brad Feld told me it is a good way to keep current contact information with people you know. My Plaxo profile is here. welcome Plaxo connection requests.
Meetup.Com. In addition, I use Meetup.com, since they have some good business networking groups, such as the SEO and WordPress groups. If you’re also in a group I am in, great, but I cannot see a reason to exchange Meetup friend requests, particularly since Meetup profiles have so little information.
Harvard University. Harvard University has an alumni portal called post.harvard.edu which is completely dormant, so I do not use it. (Recently a friend I knew at Harvard used the portal to find me, so it does have some value.)
Other Social Networking Sites. Over the years, in various moments of experimentation, I have created a multitude of accounts on other social networking sites: A Secret Club, Friendster, Going.com, MySpace, and no doubt other sites I do not even remember. I find none of these to be particularly useful, I do not update my profiles on these sites, I do not respond to friend requests from those sites, and I do not check my mail on those sites. Two active social networking accounts (Facebook and LinkedIn) is about all I can handle.
Facebook Friend and LinkedIn and Plaxo Connection Requests Are Welcome. To repeat — I welcome Facebook friend requests and LinkedIn and Plaxo connection requests. I have only turned down one friend request; he was a random individual who said he admired Adolf Hitler. (At the same time, I learned how to block someone from forever writing to me again.)
Twitter. You might be asking, “Are you on Twitter?” The answer is no, no, a million times no. I just don’t get Twitter. With Facebook, I learn all too often that someone is about to go to the grocery store. With Twitter, my day could be constantly interrupted as I receive tweets about each item they are putting in their grocery cart. No offense, I simply do not care. Chris Devore of CrashDev has two good articles on Twitter and Signal-to-Noise ratio. Rather than tweeting or following people on Twitter, I suggest purchasing some good books from your local bookstore or Amazon.com and reading them. (For a more favorable review of Twitter, see Mark Suster’s essay.)