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How to Get Started With Social Networking

Picking the Right Social Network For You

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Get Started With Social Networking

Facebook is a popular social networking website. (Image of Facebook)

Much like going to a party or joining a book club, social networking can be a lot of fun. And, like getting involved in a writer's group or going to a business conference, it can also be very productive for your career. Social Networking can be many things to many people, but you won't ever know what it could mean to you until you try it out for yourself.

The top social network, MySpace, has over two-hundred and fifty million subscribers, with actors, authors, musicians and comedians counted among them. Businesses have also gotten into the mix. For example, Newegg.com, a computer hardware reseller, has a Newegg MySpace profile highlighting computer deals currently being offered at their website.

But MySpace is not alone. There are many different social networks ranging from those who cater to general interests, like MySpace, to those that cater to specific interests, such as Flixter, which is a social network for movie lovers.

What Social Network Is the Right One for You?

The first question you must ask yourself in order to pick out the right social network is: What do you want out of a social network? Are you looking into social networks for business reasons? If so, a large general interest social network like MySpace or Facebook would be a good advertising face, while a business-oriented social network like Linkedin would be best for making good contacts.

Perhaps you are passionate about music. Last.fm combines the idea of a personalized radio station with social networking allowing you to create your own playlist, suggests music based on your preferences, and allows you to listen to your friends radio stations as well.

If you are passionate about a particular subject, a niche social network with a specific theme can be a terrific place to start. Because it matches your interest, you will be more likely to get involved in the community, and getting involved is what social networking is really all about.

Unfortunately, while there are plenty of social networks that cater to different interest, there isn't a social network for each and every interest. But, not to worry. Most social networks contain user-created groups that help people with similar interest find each other.

Or, perhaps you just want to meet a wide variety of people and not just those interested in movies or books or music. A general interest social network like MySpace, Facebook, or Hi5 might be right up your ally.

Next: Making Friends and Getting the Most Out of a Social Network

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