OK, so it doesn’t roll of the tongue quite the same way that that “War” does in the Edwin Starr song. But with so many social networking sites out there for so many different things, I figured I’d give my take on what’s best for what and how I use the different primary social networks I’m on.
- Keeping in touch with friends: Facebook Gangland hd . The News Feed is the single best way to keep up with friends who you don’t otherwise talk to or email on a regular basis. If you’re like me, you’ve got a small group of people who you see regularly and a much bigger group who you like and would love to keep up with, but you just don’t get face to face with all that much. Nearly all of my Facebook friends are people I’m friends with in the real world. Between status updates and the activity stream, Facebook wins here. Honorable mention goes to FriendFeed, which aggregates a host of your friends online updates, but very few of my real friends use it. It’s mostly my fake friends.
- Meeting new people: Twitter. After I got laid off at Yahoo, I had a ton of people start following me on Twitter. Most I did not know. But after watching what people talk about and jumping in on the conversation, I’ve met a bunch of new folks who I like and respect. It’s like listening in on a conversation at a cocktail party. When you’ve heard enough to determine if someone’s interesting, you introduce yourself. If they’re not…you leave. I’ve met several handfuls of people in real life. And I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch more at Web 2.0 next week.
- Business contacts: No brainer. LinkedIn. I tend to use LinkedIn more as a glorified address book than anything. It’s great when I need to find an old friend or colleague who I’ve lost touch with. I do not typically accept requests from people I haven’t met, but if I’ve met you at least once, I’m likely to either add you or accept your invitation. The downside for LinkedIn is that there aren’t a lot of features that keep me coming back on a daily basis.
- Affinity Groups: For joining smaller groups who I share an interest with, I’m fascinated by Ning. I run a network for my neighborhood. But there are also networks for Swedish entrepreneurs, teachers who love tech, and freestyle motocross riders. The great things about it is that if you can’t find a network for whatever you’re interested in, you can start your own in two minutes.
- Absolutely Nothing!: And the winner is MySpace. I have a page, but never go. I get a MySpace invite about once every three weeks, and inevitably…it’s from a porn star. No thanks. Your mileage may vary. If you love it, let us know why. I’m open minded.
What about you? Any other categories you want to name a winner for? Am I missing the point on some of these, or is there a better solution for one?