HOME TECH TRENDS ONLINE SAFETY SOCIAL NETWORKING APP COLLECTIONS HOW-TO THE ONLINE MOM BLOG ARCHIVE EN ESPAÑOL
Technology A-Z
 
The Internet
 
Tech Hardware
 
Tech Software
 
Video Games
 
Protecting Your Children
 
FAQs
 
Getting Help
 
The Online Mom Network
 


Learn about The Online Mom Network
Join The Online Mom Network
How Do I Become An Online Mom?


The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Isn’t It Time You Joined a Social Network? Part II

How to Get Started

Part 2 of a 3 part feature on social networks

By Barry Myers

In Part 1, we looked at the dramatic rise in popularity of social networks in general and the more recent rise of the niche social network built around a more specific shared interest or objective.

In this second article, we’ll take a closer look at what some of these networks have to offer and make some recommendations on what to look for before you invest valuable time and effort in building your new online circle of friends!
:::
Finding a match

The first thing you’ll want to do?  Stop and think about what it is you are looking for in a social network.

Is it an interest-based network that focuses on something you’re passionate about like books (Shelfari), Cars (Motorpia), shopping (Kaboodle), or movies (Flixster)? Or maybe it’s a social cause that’s dear to your heart like global warming (Change.org).

Maybe you’re looking for a network for a specific purpose, like staying in touch with family members (KinCafe or Famiva), professional networking (LinkedIn or Plaxo), or learning a new language (LiveMocha).

Or perhaps you’re just looking for other people in similar life situations like moms (ClubMom or Minti) or seniors (Eons, TeeDeeBee) to share stories, challenges, and give and receive advice.

The list is almost endless.  Check out over 350 networking sites provided by the folks at Mashable, a social networking blogging site.

Take a good look around

When you have found a site that attracts your interest, take a good look around.  If you’re allowed to, surf through a few member profiles. Try to get a feel for the personality of the site to see whether it reflects your own tastes and values. Remember – you’re probably going to be investing considerable time into this venture and you don’t want that to be wasted effort.  

Is it easy to sign up and navigate? Does it give you the tools you need to solve problems like staying in touch with family or sharing photos and videos?  Is there a lot of intrusive advertising that will eventually become distracting or annoying?

A great way to learn more about a site is to visit the “About Us” section. Not only will you learn about the company behind the site but you’ll probably also find an overview of the functions provided and, if it’s a well-funded site, maybe even a video tutorial.

It’s nearly impossible to catalog all the different functions social networking sites provide but you can expect all the networks to include some combination of the basic networking functions: the ability to create a profile; connect with other members; form groups; join forums; read and publish blogs; and some form of media-sharing. Each site will differ in what tools they emphasize, the level of personalization permitted, and certainly in the critical ease-of-use category.

Make sure you’re not wasting your time

If the site seems to be a match with your personality, the next thing you need to do is make sure it’s an active network. This step is critical; on today’s Web, a stale, out-of-date site can continue to look new and shiny for a very long time.

Look closely at several profiles. Are members’ blogs being updated regularly? Are the forums up-to-date with recent comments? Check out recent press releases and other news from the company – both on the social networking site and on Google or other news sites.

Lastly, do a blog search on the name of the social network. In Google, just type the name into the search box and, at the top of the page, click on more, scroll down and click on blogs.

Read the fine print

Finally, get familiar with the policies regarding privacy and posting content. Are they clear about protecting your privacy and not allowing distasteful content? If these policies aren’t readily available, that could be a red flag.

Most sites will publish standard text on privacy protection and content but you should also look for indications that they take their own rules seriously. One plus point with niche social networks – enhanced privacy flows naturally from being part of a smaller interest group. People are much less likely to go looking for personal information about you on a network for book lovers like Shelfari than they are on Facebook.

Remember though, niche networks are not defined by their size. According to the research firm Compete, four of the top ten most popular social networks are niche networks catering to a specific interest, objective, or trait. You can view the rankings here.

In our final article on social networks, we’ll take a closer look at some of the great new networks that have sprung up for families, moms, baby boomers, and, yes, even toddlers!

Barry Myers has been helping consumer technology brands communicate with consumers for over 12 years. Most recently he was a co-founder of DigitalLife, the country’s biggest consumer-facing technology conference and exposition. He’s currently hard at a work on his own niche social network. Barry lives in Manhattan with his wife, two-year old son, and twin cats Al and G.



Thank you for submitting your comment. Your comment will appear on the site after it has been reviewed by site moderators!
Post a Comment:
Name:
Email:
Comments (max 500 characters):

Permalink | Print | Email

Share this article!
Partner with Online Mom Media
Online Mom Media specializes in building powerful communities of influencers! [read on]
Special Twitter Event
Join @theonlinemom this Thursday at 9pm ET as we introduce Thrively, a fun and interactive family web site! #Thrively
[read on]
Join the BUZZ!
Join @theonlinemom and friends this Friday at 12 noon PT as we look at Simplifying Mobile Tech. Great prizes! #VZWBuzz [read on]
The Online Mom Blog
Connecting Your Mobile Lifestyle
[read on]
Cómo encontrar en línea las mejores ofertas
Visite La Online Mom en Español! [read on]
Stacey Ross on The Online Mom
Catch up on the digital lifestyle with Stacey Ross!
[read on]
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
[read on]
Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
[read on]
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
[read on]
How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
[read on]
The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
[read on]
10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
Tweens and Facebook:
Do you think children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook?

Yes
No
Not Sure




© 2011 the online mom, all rights reserved | site map ABOUT     MEET THE TEAM     CONTACT US     ADVERTISE     PRESS     PRIVACY     LEGAL
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.