Tag Archives: facebook

How To Nurture Your Offline And Online Friendships

Maggie and LouieYou know how cats make friends? They rub up against you and mark you with the scent glands in their cheeks. At least, that’s what my daughter tells me. It’s a way of “claiming” you as their property, just like when a male cat pees to mark their territory. It’s now theirs and other cats should know to stay off their property! It’s the kind of behavior that makes me cringe when I see it in my own circle of friends.

What This Can Teach Us About Human Friendships

People can be equally as neurotic with friendships, I’ve noticed, particularly when it’s a male/female friendship. You can even see some of those dynamics online, where people try to associate with particular friends so that some of their glamor rubs off on them. There’s nothing wrong with that, but making friends online may be easy to start, but not so easy to maintain. You have to nurture both your offline as well as your online friendships to bring more relationship wealth into your life. You should never be a passive participant in any relationship, if you want it to be mutually satisfying. And, you want to behave in ways that show you appreciate the friendship, without being overly possessive of it too.

Here are some ways to establish a good mutual reciprocity in friendships, both online and off:

  • Do give tit for tat – I’m sorry but one-way relationships are draining, both in virtual reality as well as physical reality. If someone comments on your blog, be nice and comment on theirs too. If someone invites you to a social event, try to include them in your list of social events too.
  • Earn their trust – If you start out by sending too many Facebook pokes or flowers before you’ve even gotten to know them, it can make people suspicious. Start by reading their blog, their profile, or whatever else is important to them in their lives. It helps you build your appreciation of who they are and can help you relate to them on a deeper level.
  • Interact – Do ask questions, make helpful comments, and contribute to the conversation, however, don’t dominate the interaction. There’s a fine line between an admirer and a stalker.
  • Give it time – All good friendships take time to develop. If you really start to connect with someone, it will develop naturally as you continue to interact with them. However, if you’ve given it several months and the reciprocity fails, well it may be they ‘just aren’t that into you’ as a friend. Time to nurture other friendships that are more mutually satisfying. It may be your absence makes them realize what they took for granted.
  • Establish good boundaries – Let’s face it, this is particularly important with male/female relationships. If you find someone making assumptions about the relationship, propositioning you, or just making you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to let them know that’s not your cup of tea. If they persist, you can always end the friendship. This is even trickier if there appears to be a good reason to violate the boundary, don’t fall for it. Good fences make good neighbors.
  • Network your friends – Does one friend seem like a good contact for another? Network them at a sit down dinner together, or using online tools. Facebook even has an application called “IntroduceMe” that can help make that easier. Maybe you know that one friend is looking for a job and you know of another friend who is a headhunter or does professional resumes. Hook them up!

There are probably more points that could be added. Do you have anything that makes you cringe about online or offline friendships? How do you know when a friend is a keeper or not?


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My Friends Are Priceless

whippet snippetOkay, one of my friends decided it would be funny to send me an application on Facebook called “Owned.” It starts out by saying:”See how much your friend thinks you’re worth…” The title itself didn’t sound promising. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I’m worth, so I left it there until night time and then decided that if I didn’t like it I could uninstall it. So, I installed it. Sure enough, it was a black market of human beings (their online photos) and anyone in the circle of friends can bid on your picture and “own” you. It was a little cute, and somewhat funny initially, but after sleeping on it, I uninstalled it. Why? Several reasons, but the main one is that: My friends are priceless.

Auction Off My Friends?

See, one of the tricks to get this application to go viral is to offer an outrageous amount of virtual money in your account (so you can go out and bid on other human being’s pictures) for having put one of your friends up on an auction block for $1 and inviting them to join. It even put in a friend’s picture and told me which one hadn’t joined that I could trick into this. You know, I just couldn’t do it and I wondered how many of those other people thought this was more funny than sad, because that’s what I think about this application: sad.

The Human Marketplace=SLAVERY

Why on earth would I want to spend my day seeking out other people’s pictures to bid on? To be quite honest, at the end, it was a bit disgusting. I’m not for slavery, and this smacks of virtual-slavery. People are getting ego highs over “owning” other live human beings, if not for real at least in their fantasies. Disgusting. People get all riled up about video games that show people being shot and massacred, but now it’s okay to condone slavery, because it’s all a fun game? Count me out! And, my friends aren’t going on the auction block because of me either.

Owner/Owned: They Think The Same

It’s important to realize that what we allow in our minds and in our realities says a lot about who we are and how we treat other people…And, I truly believe some people want to be owned just as much as other people want to own them. They perceive their value as being based on how high someone bids on them or how popular they are. That is being owned, as this application so rightly puts it. I’m just not one of those people.

*Image Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons license by f10n4

Apps, Widgets, and Virtual Hugs – Oh, My!

primping at 2 amI am deep in the heart of virtual accessorizing my different online profiles. I’ve received, one virtual rose, found out how to put YouTube videos in my website, and am discovering the interesting world of high-tech fashion online. Gosh, I almost feel as if I have to primp in front of a mirror every time I enter another web site. All of this stuff is downright fascinating, if it’s not time-consuming, but there is a method to all this madness.

We Love Who We Are

Did you know that the top reason people communicate on social networking sites is to communicate some sort of identity? That’s right! That’s the reason people join these sites, the reason they are so popular, and why it’s very important to have the right image on them, depending on your needs. After all, it isn’t just you looking at the profile. There are a ton of people who might visit it, including potential future employers. For me, it is often my clients and so they want to see that I am a professional writer or my spiritual resume, and many of these sites can show just that. So, today, I was also offered a virtual drink, which I declined. I don’t drink that much in real life and I want my profile to be as authentic as it can be. To show up with multiple drinks would be a little inappropriate for who I am, considering my sites are about spiritual and professional aspects of who I am.

Marketing On Social Networks

When people click with your identity, they really buy in to who you are. In marketing terms, you already have someone interested in doing business with you. You build up a contact list based on all those seemingly frivolous interactions with roses, virtual hugs, or common interests. And, this is at the very heart of good marketing – to have some sort of empathic connection with people so that they trust you. Since you can’t shake their hand or look them in the eye, in a conventional sense, some of these applications and widgets serve the same purpose. We’ve just started to figure out how social networking is changing the marketing landscape, but one this is for sure, it’s still about the human connection.

*Image Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons license by blinkbyblink

Social Networking: Complicating Life, But Great Business Opportunity

My memoriesI was reading one of those wealth books, whose name escapes me now, but I believe Kiyosaki and Trump were both discussing what it takes to be rich. They said that the level of complexity increases in your life even though the basic model is still the same: own a business or invest. That’s because both Trump and Kiyosaki believe in the cashflow quadrant where you only get rich learning how to make use of other people’s money or time, not your own. You can’t really do that if you are self-employed (with no employees) and/or an employee of someone else. So, I’ve noticed recently my life is becoming decidedly more complex and I’m wondering if it is because I am learning how to go to the right side of the cashflow quadrant or because I’m not very efficient. Probably a little of both, since I’m learning. The thing that has really made things very complex right now, is my re-enchantment with social networking.

MySpace

The last time I visited a social networking site was when I had my very successful blog on WritingUp and the entire site went down and never recovered. I was left without any contacts from all those people I had spent several years of my life with and no way to contact them. So, I started looking online and found some of them on MySpace, but very few. I put up a profile and found it to be too complicated and too lengthy a process of keeping in touch and frankly, I had a Master’s program to do and tons of freelance work. Why the heck would I want to waste my time diddling with MySpace? It seemed to be taking up huge loads of my time and providing no return on it. Definitely on the wrong side of the cashflow quadrant.

FaceBook

Now, I am ghost-writing a whole lot of freelance ebooks on generating income online with social networking, and one of these places is Facebook. Facebook? I didn’t even know what it was until I did all the research and now I’ve changed my mind. I’m beginning to see how to leverage places like MySpace and Facebook to do Internet marketing, but it is a much more complicated model than conventional marketing. It takes patience and it means you have to learn as you go. However, they do very well in helping you develop a list of contacts in your niche market and finding out what the market wants or needs. You can’t spam anyone, and I wouldn’t want to anyways. That was one of my major complaints with places like MySpace in the past: people trying to grab your attention all day long while you had better things to do. Social networking has evolved to the level where the workload of keeping in contact is now more distributed and easier through applications and templates. So, the initial work is the most you do and the rest is fairly straightforward. Then, people interested in you or your products can do the work of marketing for you and that’s definitely on the right side of the cashflow quadrant.

Conclusion

So, now I have a blog, a website, two social networking profiles, several freelance writing profiles, many emails, and I can’t even tell you how many usernames and passwords I have to keep track of. Thank God I figured out how to do that! Otherwise, my head would really be spinning! Why am I doing all this? Well, for one, it’s nice to keep track of everyone I meet and I meet a ton of people in my day-to-day life. The people online are not even the tip of the iceberg. I have a very poor memory and these social networking sites are ideal for people like me who have to rely on technology or systems to help us keep in touch without sounding like morons for forgetting things. It’s just hard to keep up with who does what when you have hundreds of people you’ve met in your life. I’m still trying to figure out if I can contact people in different countries as I believe I’ve lived in over 14 different countries by now and most of the 50 United States. You know how big my contact list would be if I had started earlier? But, that’s not the point, the point is that all those people could end up helping me build my business and expand my social life, if only I could keep track of them all and social networking is a great way to stay in touch and let people know what you are up to, whether it is writing a book, teaching a course, or selling tupperware. And, you don’t even have to email them directly to do that anymore. They can just become a permanent friend on one of these sites and the system does it all for you! It does complicate things having various profiles online, but you have to realize how much more complicated my life would be if I had to keep track of everyone manually to build a bigger business. I would never be able to do it all without hiring a personal assistant. So, yes, I am complicating my life, but I am also laying the groundwork for a great business opportunity.

I will write more about what I learn on these sites as I go along…

Image courtesy of Flikr Creative Commons license by scarleth white (click image to see some of the fun coding they put behind the picture. It really makes a visual impact! Once in Flickr, just mouse over to see the comments on each individual picture in the grand collage.)