I remember when I first became a fan of social networking. I was 15 years old and my older brother had a CB radio fitted in his car. The first few times I tried I just couldn't speak, but less than a month later I'd been given a radio of my own which I had in my bedroom run on a car battery with an aerial stuck in a biscuit tin. I called myself Sweetpea and chatted with anyone who could hear me into the early hours of the morning. I joined a group called the R&R breakers and we used to have meetings every other month. I had some calling cards which said 'You have been eyeballed by Sweetpea' and I loved meeting new people all the time. I was useless at meeting people normally, but after chatting with someone on the radio the ice was already broken when we met. In fact it was on the CB radio where I met my first real love who I later married.
My next experience of networking was many years later when I was introduced to the Internet (Ah yes, I'm really that old) First up it was forums like yahoo groups, then on bulletin boards. I started meeting people from further afield, I think the furthest to date is Alaska, when a lovely friend I'd been speaking to stopped by during a holiday in the UK.
Then I discovered Facebook and then Twitter. I love the sharing aspect of Facebook and I've re-connected with a lot of old friends and family members, even some of my old CB friends! Twitter reminds me most of the CB, that too was very much like walking into a room full of conversations and finding one to join in with. You could spend time talking to yourself on the CB too, particularly if you were trying to catch a foreigner.
I then joined Pinterest which was a little confusing at first, then I realised it was just like a giant storage room where you could store whatever you found and share with others. I find I use it all the time when I am planning an event, or a cake, or just looking for inspiration.
I'm now trying to find my way around Google+ It's kind of like Facebook but different. I'm not sure how to really explain it because as I say I'm still finding my way.
Connecting with like minded people has never been easier. It also makes sharing easier, I remember how difficult it used to be to connect with the right people many years ago, but now with so many social networking sites it's not difficult at all.
These days there is really no excuse for not linking up....unless you are not very social.
Of course if you are a blogger you are already networking because even without too much effort people will find you and interact.
Here is how I use Social Networking.
Google+ to connect with like minded people, generally bloggers, but also companies I like. I've taken part in a live video chat even though I didn't really know what I was doing, I was being watched by many but I hadn't realised that at the time, I probably would have not taken up the invitation if I'd known. It was fun though. I also use the new communities which are great for sharing things like competitions and blog posts. I don't just post though, I love to read as well. These days Google+ is my first port of call because I use Google Chrome as my browser and it tells me as soon as I log on if there is something new. You can find me on Google+ here
Next I'm off to check Twitter. I use this just for general chatting, often talking to myself, but also joining in with others. I will also share my links to new blog posts and occasionally enter a competition.
I've recently discovered Twitter Parties which are a good way of sharing knowledge and ideas. I've met some lovely people on Twitter who I have got to know really well. You can find me on Twitter as @okesanne/RaisieBay
On Pinterest I currently have 33 boards on subjects like Cakes, Party Ideas, Craft Ideas, Delicious Desserts, Great Quotations and even Zombies to name a few. You can see my profile and follow all or any of my boards here.
My Facebook is for good friends and family but I also have a page which relates to my blog. It's not very old and a bit desperate for new likers (hint, hint) I like to chat with my blog readers here and give extra entries to any competitions I may host on my blog.
I love the way the internet has made it so easy to connect with others just like the CB radio used to. If you find you have difficulty with any of the platforms I've mentioned feel free to ask me any questions. I'm not an expert but I've been around a long time now.
Also, if you do decide to connect with me please be assured that I always follow back where I can :-)