You’ve heard the term social networking, right? But do you really understand what it’s about?

I’ve found that while many have heard the term, most don’t know what it really means. Yet, most of us are engaged in social networking dozens of times each day.


Well, if you tell a friend about a service or product you like – you’re social networking. If you share another blogger’s post with your blog readers…you’re social networking. Hand out a business card – you’re social networking. Returning phone calls, responding to email, contacting your blog commenters, building relationships with other bloggers, even writing on forums – all of this – and more – fall under social networking.

Basically, social networking is a way that people of some similar interests connect. The beauty is that this happens when people you may not know find you (and your business) because of some connection they have with someone you both know.

Social networking is happening all the time. The real question, then, isn’t whether you’re engaged in social networking. Rather the question is are you taking full advantage of the social networking you’re already doing?

One great way is to utilize social networking communities such as Linkedin, MyBlogLog and Facebook. Each can get you linked to friends and colleagues who link to people who link to people – creating your network.

Need a little more about the basics of social networking? Common Craft put together another great video describing social networking in plain English. Check it out below.

From the video transcript describing using social networking sites:

When you find someone, you click a button that says, “Add as Friend”. Once you do this, you and that person have a connection on the website that others can see. They are a member of your network, and you are a member of theirs.

What’s really cool, is that you can see who your friends know, and who your friends’ friends know. You’re no longer a stranger, so you can contact them more easily.

This solves a real world problem because your network has hidden opportunities. Social networking sites make these connections between people visible.

Like a map for a highway, they can show you the people network that can help you get to your next destination, whether it’s a job, a new partner, or a great place to live. Your network is suddenly more useful.

How do you use social networks? And what results have you gotten from using them?

Thanks to Chris Brogan and Beth Kanter for helping me discover this video.

Reader Interactions


  1. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work says

    Great post, D — as always, you take a concept that’s oft-talked about, oft-misunderstood, and make it simple as pancakes.

    I’ve gotten accounts with LinkedIn and Facebook (and MBL, of course), and I’m just starting to explore them.

    I found two old college chums on LinkedIn this week, so that’s pretty cool. I’m more drawn to Facebook, but I’m not really sure what to do there. If someone could explain how to really get the most out of FaceBook, I’d love that.

    MyBlogLog has drawn the most activity, because it’s right there on my site all the time.

    I’m also curious about using StumbleUpon more, but I rarely use Firefox (I’m a Camino user, 99% of the time).

  2. BeachBum says

    I am a heavy MyBlogLog user. It seems like most people are there to get you to join their community. Can’t blame them I want people to join my community as well.

    But the biggest benefit to social network sites is interacting with other members.


  3. Dawud Miracle says


    Yeah, I agree. I used MyBlogLog a lot when I first began blogging. I think it, and my commenting, was initially responsible for getting people to my blog. And from that, I’ve made incredible relationships.

    Can you track any of your MyBlogLog relationships as leading to business?


    Me too. I’m writing on eMoms now because I met Wendy Piersall through social networking – and later in person at SOBCon07 back in May.

    And the list goes on from there. I’ve been fortunate enough to build some amazing friendships with a number of bloggers that I wouldn’t have met any other way.

    What network(s) do you use most? Why?


    Thanks, bro.

    Facebook – same thing as Linkedin – look for people you know and network with them.

    And with MyBlogLog, isn’t it great to see those photos of people who have visited your site. Sometimes I’ll see a photo of someone I know well, but notice they’ve not joined the conversation – so I email ’em and rib ’em a little bit. I’ve done this to Ben Yoskovitz a bunch of times.

    StumbleUpon…I’m just now getting involved in their community. And you could switch to BonEcho, which is an optimized version of Firefox that I would say is just as quick as Camino – yet allows most of the Firefox extensions to work. I’ve been using it a lot and I think I’m switching from Camino.

  4. LaurenMarie says

    Well naturally with social networking I have connected with people (like you!) who I NEVER would have met any other way. I love it! I think it’s fascinating how small the world really is. I love interacting with people from all over. It’s possible to learn much about a culture and people without ever having been there or met them in person. Amazing!

  5. LaurenMarie says

    I started using MyBlogLog because I wanted to join the blog communities that I frequent. I just joined Facebook today because one of the bloggers I read invited me. It’s fun to see other people from my past on there and catch up a bit, and it’s also a great place to have conversations with people from around the world!

    I use, not necessarily for its more “traditional” online social aspect, but because of the ability to access bookmarks from anywhere, which allows me to show friends and family things I’ve seen online. So it’s still social networking, especially considering the way you wrote about it!

  6. Dawud Miracle says


    I’m just now getting into Facebook myself. Like you, I used MyBlogLog a lot in the past. Seems like it’s time to spend more effort there. And also on Linkedin. The community I’m also just now getting into. So much to do…so little time.

    Flickr…it’s a service I never really use. I take lots of photos, but I share them on a private ZenPhoto account I set up on my server. I basically just share photos of my family with relatives and close friends. But I do use Flickr all the time to find photos to use on my blog posts.

    These were great. Thanks for adding your comments to the conversation.

  7. Char says

    Of all the social networks I have gotten the most value out of MyBlogLog – it is the easiest to use, I love seeing who has been to my site, and it really does help build communities.

    StumbleUpon is my second favorite. It is fun to stumble and the traffic boost is really nice.

    I am also getting into Linked In and Facebook and trying to find the best way to leverage my time there.

    There are also some of the niche “digg-like” sites like that I have gotten quite a bit of traffic from and created new relationships from.

  8. Jean Browman says

    Another great post! I loved the video, but it inadvertently demonstrated the importance of accuracy. I’ve gone from Chicago to Santa Fe several times now, and there’s no way I would go through Dallas. I found that very distracting.

    Yes, I know it’s not important, and a lot of things that bother other people don’t affect me. But it is a warning that we never know what will throw other people off the message we’re trying to send.

    But the bottom line is I’m going to do more social networking. Thanks!

  9. james mckinley says

    Now I get it. That really put social networking in layman’s terminology (and the paper doodles help). We may network constantly everyday but videos like these put out by CommonCraft help us realize its physical limitations without the internet working for us.

    So whenever we hand out business cards again, start inviting others to join your network as well.

  10. Dawud Miracle says


    I’ve also had a lot of success with MyBlogLog. And it’s really neat to see the faces of people who have recently visited.

    What’s been your experience with Sk*rt? Can men join?


    I hear you. Personally, I’m busy enough that I have to be as pretty efficient with my time or I fall behind.

    I, too, am doing much more with the social networking sites than I have before, expanding my reach beyond MyBlogLog.


    Great! I love Common Craft’s ability to make some of these hard-to-get ideas simple and easy to understand. And I’m happy to hear it helped you out.

    I’m doing the same thing…making my network IDs much more available to people.

  11. Char says

    I have had good experience with Sk*rt – it has been a very good traffic source in the past month. And, yes, men are welcome. Come join us.

  12. Don@AffiliateWatcher says

    Hey, thanks for posting the video and link. The video makes understanding social networks easy. Now if we could get them all to function the same way, to me, some make you do everything but backflip 3 times to understand them.


  13. kevin says

    I have done a lot with social networking it allowed me to establish an audience for my comedy blog. Then I have done some consulting for companies on how to build awareness on the web using social networking sites.

    There is a lot that can be accomplished with them.

  14. Aurelius Tjin says

    Social networking is pretty cool! I enjoy sharing ideas, insights, valuable information and common interest with other people. It also allows me to establish good relationship with others and drive more targeted traffic to my site.

  15. Friend Adder Elite says

    since people are very busy nowadays and most of their interaction time is spent on the computer, social networking is by far the best idea on meeting new people, sharing and expressing different views and opinions with others. Fun, exciting, and easily accessible, social networking is the way to go =)

  16. malenda says

    For me it has really helped me find new clients for my consulting business but still I find it is being exploited by spammers but it has been taken care of to some extent. I would say its a wonderful tool if utilized in the correct manner. Its also good you used a video to explain it, people who are unaware would surely benefit from it

  17. Aziz says

    I totally agree with Warren P. Bonds …. i thk its a gr8 platform for people to socialize as well as be in touch with the latest on going trends….

  18. Jay says

    There seems to be som many optionsn opening up with social media that you really need to actually start specialising in one becuase they all require quite a bit of effort to master. I find facebook very useful as an advertising tool helping me drive some good traffic to my site.

  19. Ricky says

    It is a massive subject and it is becoming the new thing. Youtube has exploded now and if you are promoting sites out there you really do need to be aware of these different platforms as each one can bring you a lot of traffic if approached in the right way !

  20. Cape Coral Laptop repair says

    It is a massive subject and it is becoming the new thing. Youtube has exploded now and if you are promoting sites out there you really do need to be aware of these different platforms as each one can bring you a lot of traffic if approached in the right way !


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