A Scenic Tour of the Online World

How To Avoid Social Network Snares

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I took part in an interesting, quick discussion on Adrian’s Network listserv yesterday. (An incredible networking group, by the way.)

Someone posted a question about Naymz, asking whether he should join. A few of us responded with specific recommendations about Naymz and general thoughts about social networks more broadly.

Here’s the take away:

  • Don’t blindly respond to an invite, even from a trusted friend. They might not even know they’ve invited you.
  • Social networking may be free, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. There’s a sizable time commitment to using any network effectively. Make sure the audience is right and that you’ll be able to contribute or you’ll be wasting your time.

(The Naymz discussion yesterday focused on how social networks will help you find who among your contacts is already in the network. That’s common practice, but Naymz automatically invites everyone on your list unless you opt out. That’s sneaky. Naymz really ruffled feathers when they were first found out, and rightly so.)

Don’t fall into that same ill-will generating trap with your own email newsletters and other subscriptions. They should be opt-in, not opt-out.

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