Monday, March 2, 2009

Social Networking

Hi everybody. Sorry it's been a few days since the last post; I've been running back and forth from Los Angeles to Newport Beach and preparing to head to Las Vegas and Minneapolis in the next couple of weeks. So if the blogging is few and far between, that's why.

I've been asked a couple of times in the last week how social networking has benefited my working relationships. Although I just canceled my MySpace account, I am very active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Plaxo. I've found that these are a great way to stay on top of the people I work with; namely, keeping in touch with those I work with who are out of state and maybe people who I don't necessarily need to speak on the phone with.

However, the nature of my job is outreach, so finding more and more resources to help addicted people and families get well is made remarkably easier with the help of social networking. With Facebook, I can get a glimpse into the normal, everyday life of a person I work with, as well as stay in touch with the various people I've met out of state. With the iPhone and Blackberry applications, these things are very simple to stay on top of, and easy to let people know where one is at. I use my Facebook status update to let people know when I'm traveling and where, and that makes it simple for people to find me when they need to.

With LinkedIn, I've been able to start a networking group called Addiction Recovery Professionals, which has now connected well over 200 people from around the world. We've been able to discuss professional relationships, referrals, and many other things via the group discussion feature, not to mention the great contacts we all have in our back pockets knowing that we're all in the same mission. The only downfall of LinkedIn is that you can't directly invite people you don't know--that is, LinkedIn will block your invitations if it feels like you're "spamming." With my job being outreach and trying to connect with people who are into the same things, this is a challenge. Facebook and Twitter are much more effective ways for me to connect.

Twitter presents a challenge: talk exactly about what you're doing in 140 characters or less. This allows you to post links, share location, and describe anything you're seeing or doing. Like Facebook status updates, these are instantaneous updates on the people you know (or don't). I use Twitter mainly to follow cycling and some of my friends since not a lot of people in the addiction field are currently on it. Check it out!

Here's a video of Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, describing it's many uses:

For something funny, click here.

As always, find me on LinkedIn or Twitter, and search for me on Facebook if you'd like. Hope all is well, and see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Social networks can be a powerful tool. I've recently joined LinkedIn, Twitter, and a few others to engage with others regarding many different topics.

    My recent start-up tries to harness and leverage that power while incorporating many different things into one central place to try and combat addiction. It can be seen at BeatingAddiction DOT com.

    I like your blog; you pose some interesting rhetoric and give some insightful content. I always click through via your LinkedIn status updates to see what you blogging about :)

    Kind regards