Hello, social networking.

In this day and age social networking is an involuntary reflex for much of our society. I know I am not alone in checking my email, Facebook and Twitter faithfully every morning.

Social networking is a trusted network where people connect, share and discuss with others. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn have changed the way we maintain social and professional relationships.

The Social Media Bible does not discuss Facebook at length in this chapter because Facebook did not wish to participate in the book. Despite this fact, Facebook seems to attract the widest range of users.  From my 88-year-old great aunt to my 15-year-old neighbor, almost everyone I know has a Facebook. In my opinion, some of the other popular social media channels like LinkedIn and MySpace are more niche networks. LinkedIn is used by a  professional audience and MySpace attracts a younger demographic and musicians.

LinkedIn has accelerated the cliché that ‘it’s all about who you know’. Now professionals have a trusted network to keep in touch with peers, colleagues and other professionals they have connected with through their careers. The Social Media Bible compares LinkedIn’s online networking scheme to that of the TV trivia game show the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. This short documentary on YouTube called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Inside the Game, explains the philosophy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOUdy2J0lfU. The philosophy is that any person can be linked to complete stranger with six degrees of separation. LinkedIn has taken this philosophy to a new level. Have a job interview coming up? Get on LinkedIn to see if you have a common connection with the person in charge of hiring.

Organizations are using social networking channels like Facebook and Twitter as free advertisement and a way to communicate with their customers one-on-one. The Social Media Bible emphasizes the importance of companies understanding how to use social media affectively before diving in.

Get connected with me on LinkedIn  or follow me on Twitter @sara_nelson22.