How and Why I use Social Networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. A Social Networking Policy
If you’re only interested in my Twitter Following Policy, jump to the bottom of this post. However, I recommend you read the entire article, and please leave Comments.
If you’re anything like me, you belong to at least one of a growing number of social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook. You may also have a Blog like this one, or an account at a photo sharing site such as Flickr. Regardless of what services you use, I’m sure you’ve noticed that as the numbers of these sites have proliferated, the effort required maintaining your presence on each (duplicating information from site to site, getting people to “friend,” “connect” or “follow” at each location) is increasing. So how does one manage?
The answer is that it’s not always necessary to have all of your “connections” on each type of site. This is because each site has its own personality and serves a different audience. As users become more sophisticated they are developing different expectations and it’s now acceptable to maintain a different presence with a different set of “friends” on each network. But how do you choose which site to use for which purpose and whom to invite to which one?
To answer this question, I’ve established the following Social Networking/Following Policy so that anyone who wishes to “connect,” “friend” or “follow” me can clearly understand how and why and on which service I may, or may not, chose to interact with them. As a result, my policy helps me manage the expectations of my network. When everyone knows what to expect, they won’t be upset if, for example, I connect with them on LinkedIn, but haven’t “friended” them on Facebook.
To keep things simple, I’ve placed my policy in chart form for easy reference. I also have a more detailed Twitter Policy (bottom) as I use Twitter the most and feel it requires specifics.
Feel free to contact me as stipulated on the appropriate network. I also appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on my blog. It encourages conversation not only between both of us, but by other visitors.
Social Networking/Following Policy
I also maintain a presence on a few other services, but as I am not active I will leave details for a later time. Additionally, for those who are interested, I will post a more detailed description about how I use Social Networks in the near future.
NEAL’S TWITTER FOLLOWING POLICY
This Following Policy is specifically for Twitter and was established so that my Followers can clearly understand why I may or may not follow them back, and how quickly they can expect me to start following. To be sure, this is not my entire process. When I learn that someone is following me I usually do things like look at their Profile page, review some of their comments and Favorites, and look at who they follow and who is following them, etc.
I highly recommend that all Twitter users adopt policies of their own. I believe it will help reduce churn and make Twittering a better experience for all.
That’s it. I look forward to reading your Comments.