The purpose of this blog is to document my process of discovering how to make use of networking sites such as facebook, twitter, blogger etc in order to [hopefully] demystify the world of internet social networking for us all.

I am by no means an expert in this field, but I hope that as I gather the gems discovered along the way, you too can benefit from these discoveries, and share them with others. I welcome the era of the handmade revolution with open arms, and this blog is my way of supporting all of you who are out there trying to launch your offerings to the world.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Now that's service!

I just wanted to share with you all a recent example of what happens when your business is LIVE on the networking scene.

Below is a copy of a recent chat stream on facebook between myself and a friend, and a local country cafe that we are a fan of (take note of the time of day the posts came through)


Dave Pinson
Thanks Kirra. How's about Flutterbies for lunch one day this week?17 May at 11:10

Solar Chapel
Dave - as part of the birthday club, if you bring three friends to Flutterbies with you for lunch on your birthday - you get your meal for free!! How does THAT sound??? ;)

Kirra Springs
I reckon we can manage that ... let's see, Dave, Connie, Kirra & Dave - how about Thursday (keep with tradition) :)
17 May at 14:50

Dave Pinson
What time suits you guys on Thursday? Dave :-)
18 May at 13:06

Kirra Springs
how's 1pm sound?
18 May at 15:44

Solar Chapel
Lucky i follow you guys on Facebook - I can put your booking in the book - you don't even have to ring! ;)

Kirra Springs
hahahahaha I love it! What cafe can offer service like this ;)
18 May at 15:46

Solar Chapel
It's in the book now - 1pm 4 ppl. if the time changes - it's no biggie, we're flexible. See you then :-)

Dave Pinson
Now THAT is service :-)
18 May at 18:14

This is a real exchange - NOT simulated! I was so thrilled with seeing the possibility of LIVE internetwork success that I had to let you all know about it - I think it is a stunning example of the difference social networking can make to your business/ organisation.

Imagine if one of your fans is blogging to a friend about a birthday coming up, and you can suggest the perfect product or service within seconds of the notification! All you need to do is be online and keep your eye on the activity that is happening in this virtual world.

Or they are looking for somewhere to stage an event... it goes on. If you don't provide the service they require, but one of your friends does - you can jump in and make the recommendation - they may have their 'problem' solved, and be grateful for your assistance, and your friend will love you for the referral - good karma all round!

n.b. If you use Hootsuite, the notifications are live and update without you having to refresh - you can simultaneously view Twitter and Facebook activity (see previous blog).

So, if you are not already live - what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

partay! partay!

I can't tell you how excited I am right now!! We just had a hook-up afternoon where 5 of us got together and aligned all of our networking pages into synchronistic management! I tell you, it is a revolution in communication. (ooh, I can feel a whole other blog topic building *puts on shelf for later*)...

Okay so basically what we have done is hook up all our individual pages like twitter, facebook, fan pages etc into one operational system called 'Hootsuite', which basically becomes the mothership of all network communication.

Very easy to set up, from the Hootsuite homepage. Follow the prompts to set up an account.

Once set up, systematically go through installing your profiles - twitter account, personal facebook account, face book fanpage, facebook group page etc. You should end up with a number of profile icons available to you.

Hootsuite will automatically create a new tab for each profile, so you can see each on its own tab page. What you want to do is select one tab, and then add a column for each profile you want to manage, so that you end up with all of the profiles on the one tag. You may need to adjust the column size from 1 to 5 in order to see them (its the slider tab to the right, next to "add column".)

From there, you can post to all any number of the chosen profiles, by clicking on the icon you'd like to use.

You can also schedule postings for later - choosing the best time to make an announcement, to tweet while you are asleep and the rest of the world is awake, make it look like you're hard at work while actually sipping margaritas under a palm tree ...

And it is on a live feed stream which means every 5 minutes (or whatever you set it to), all the pages automatically update themselves with the latest from around the world! You can quietly work away on a separate page, and check in throughout the day to keep your fingers on the pulse of your friends and fans. This way, you are totally available to communication IN THE MOMENT (oops, shouting) with whomever receives your, when they receive it (timing!)

I tell you, its a buzz! Go forth and conquer, and I'll catch you all soon...

(Now, I know I keep promising to do the facebook fanpage - it's coming, it's coming!)

*scoots off to make some jewellery*

Monday, May 10, 2010

"and most of all, I'd like to thank all my fans..."

Well, it has been an eventful 24 hours! After posting my first blog last night, I awoke to discover 11 followers! How did that happen? Aaaah, the magic of "internetworking"...

Here's what I did:

1. set up blog, and made it pretty and colourful using the 'add a gadget' feature (there are some cool gadgets out there, and some ...umm ... not so cool ones - you be the judge)

2. linked it to my facebook profile and fanpage using the funky new facebook widgets.

Quick how to:
  • select the widget you want to add to your blog
  • highlight the html text and copy
  • go to your blog and into layout area
  • click "add a gadget"
  • find the gadget in the basics tab called "html/java script" - select
  • paste the html you copied from the fb widget gallery into the txt body
  • save changes, view your blog and sit back, quietly chuffed at how clever you are!
3. once I was happy with the basic format and blog, I went to my social network sites: twitter and facebook and announced the blog, attaching a link below the post. You can manage both sites simultaneously using hootsuite - worth taking a look at. (I'll probably cover hootsuite in a bit more detail down the track - remind me!)

4. within minutes, I had my first reader response, who then retweeted the post to all her friends (bless you, Julie) and voila! the house is live!

So, thank you, fans and friends for demonstrating how quickly the internetworking system shares the love, and stay tuned... I'll be diving into the facebook fanpage scenario NEXT.

facebook ... it's not just a popularity contest!

Okay, so I am going to ask you to leave all your preconceptions about facebook [fb]at the door. I had to, in order to embark upon this journey of social networking [*cringes * 'it sounds so lame'... ] Anyhow, let's just get all of our opinions and insecurities out of the way and take a look at how facebook can be our 'friend':
  1. When you join fb, you put yourself out there. And let's face it, if you're not out there, how do you expect anyone to find you? The whole idea behind it is you have friends, your friends have friends, their friends have friends and so on... [you've all seen 'six degrees of separation, right?] So, as you become active on fb, your comments, quotes, feedback is seen on your friends pages. People who think you have something interesting to say, may then apply to be your friend.
  2. Be open to friend requests: after all, something about you made them want to be your friend. If someone turns out to be a weird stalker type person, you can always 'block' them later.
  3. Try to keep your fb profile personal. Yes, I know: right now your stock is burning holes in your pocket and you want to tell the world about it so that you can sell enough stuff to make the rent, but..... nobody likes being sold to. REMEMBER THIS! [sorry for shouting, but this is really important]. The general advice is to keep your posts personal, and every now and then do a "hey guys, check out my rad new..." Friends don't sell to friends, but they do share their excitement and joy about what they are doing! Friends also like to support their friends, so you should get a few thumbs up and positive feedbacks along the way.
  4. Do have a picture of yourself, and any other details like the town you live in, middle name etc. Last time I checked, there were 31,000 Jane Smiths on fb - you get my drift. Essentially you want people to find you, so help them.
  5. Once you have a few friends, go through their friends list - buddy up! Don't be afraid to send a friend request to a complete stranger - the worst they can do is ignore your request. Hey, at least you get to work through you schoolyard traumas and be a grown up about it this time round.
  6. Have fun! Meeting new people, catching up with old friends, getting involved in people's lives is where it's all happening. It's called relationship, so enjoy it!
  7. Never miss an opportunity - that local barista chick that makes your coffee everyday is more than likely a fb fiend, next time you are grabbing a latte ask : "Are you on fb?" - most likely she'll give you her full name and spelling. People are friendly [and vanity gets the better of most, so they like to have as many friends as possible]
  8. Remember that in every society and civilisation the focus has been on community - it is how we get things done, how we spread the word, share our excitement, our challenges and frustrations, it's how we get help.... fb is your way of accessing a global community of like-minded individuals, and with 6 billion or so people on the planet, there's got to be a few out there with your name on them! So go for it, set yourself up a profile page and get friendly!
Since joining fb about a year ago, I have connected up with around 200 people, and yes, I actually do know most of them! I come across at least 2 or 3 new contacts each week, people that I know but never kept in touch with, random related people that I vaguely remember but hey, they're family, they accept all page requests, and a few new interesting people I meet through forums, blogs etc [but more on this another time]...

Oh, and if you friend request me, I'll definitely accept [see gadget on the right hand side of my blog page]

Stay tuned for the next post..... facebook fan pages