Like many others at this time of year we receive a number of letters from old friends summing up the year just gone by. It's great to hear about the stories they share. Sadly this seems to be the only time of year we do hear from some people. So it is great to find that more and more old friends, colleagues and acquaintances are creating profiles and posting updates on social networks and social media sites.
My experience is that online networks are great for staying in touch and a really good way to get started is to connect with the people you already know. You can also reconnect with people you have lost touch with. The major ones for me are Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Ecademy.
I created my profile on Linkedin about six years ago. More and more people I meet express the view that Linkedin is increasingly more important for business connections.
I joined Ecademy six years ago too and I have found it great for two things;
1. Connecting with some great people and building friendships through the clubs that meet offline.
2. Learning all about online social networks and social media.
I joined Facebook more recently and it is very useful for both social and business communication. I have a personal profile and a business one too. On the social side I am regularly in touch with family and friends who share news and photos. On the business side I can interact with people with similar interests.
Twitter is great for sharing content and signposting others to the useful stuff that people in my network provide regularly.
For more how the online fits into networking generally see 'How to Effectively Combine Offline & Online Networking'.
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