There are many posts, columns and articles out there about how to create your own brand online. I’ve read a lot of advice on the subject and learned a lot. I’ve also learned that you really have to find out on your own.
Before I share some different Web sites that I believe to have great value, I encourage you to go through this (if you haven’t already). It’s a presentation by Marta Kagan. This really is hilarious and worth an entire read-through. Also, use it as a guide – even if you’re not doing this stuff for a business. As a general guideline, make sure you are consuming and sharing others stuff before your own.
- Twitter – microblogging. Some argue it’s a way of life. No matter what, there are many conversations occurring on here and this site is especially important in building your brand online. Connect with me on Twitter here.
- Facebook – connect with people by friending and maintaining a profile. Facebook is moving in the general direction that most of these services are moving – sharing and consolidation. What’s the point of having 30 profiles on different Web sites when you can update and maintain everything from one? One day, Facebook really will own the world. This scares me, too. Connect with me on Facebook here.
- LinkedIn – I like to call this the professional Facebook. Connect with and recommend your business connections. This is a great way to keep in touch with people. Connect with me on LinkedIn here.
Here’s a couple more services to take your social networking to the next level:
- WordPress – host your blog here. It’s a great site that tracks all the stats you’ll ever need and has many useful tools.
- Google – using such apps as Google Reader, Google Groups, etc. make Google social. You can use these apps to share information and contact each other.
- Friendfeed – combine pretty much everything you’re doing online to your feed. I think Friendfeed is the future of social networking because, like Facebook, it is a way to combine everything easily. Brian Solis wrote a great post about the future of Friendfeed here, and I agree with him.
- Pandora – play streaming music online. I love Pandora because it is nice to find new music as well as hear some favorites. And yes, this is social networking, especially because you can hook it up to your Friendfeed. You can check out my feed here.
- Delicious – bookmark your favorite Web sites, articles and blog posts. I installed the Delicious Toolbar for Firefox and because this is hooked up to my blog and feed, people can check it out. Oh yeah, make sure you connect this with your feed, too.
- Flickr – post and share photos. I wish I took more pictures and had a camera phone so I can use Flickr more, but I don’t. People find this service helpful because it is so easy to share and to post on different platforms.
- StumbleUpon – find and rate information on the Web. For more information on how to use it, click here.
- Scribd – upload and share documents with friends. I have seen people use this for group projects (Google Groups can do this, too) and other things. I think this will be gone soon because of how much easier Google’s programs are.
- YouTube – watch videos online. Come on, there’s something for everyone here!
- Slideshare – connect with some brilliant minds and share their presentations (or create your own). Look above for an example of an incredible presentation on Slideshare.
It probably seems like a lot of work to maintain all of these accounts, but I’ve found that once you do all the signing up, it’s pretty easy. I don’t spend hours updating and maintaining my profile on each of these services, I simply use them when I need it.
What else do you use? What doesn’t work? Where is the future of social networking? For me, the trick is consolidation.