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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Mar 16, 2009

RFL: Social Media Bucket #3: Information Sharing

As you may have heard me say, or read in previous posts or in response to questions on LinkedIn, I believe that all social media falls into one or more of three buckets: Social Networking, Professional Networking, and Information Sharing. I thought it was about time I went into more depth on these three buckets, starting with Social Media Bucket #3, Information Sharing. (Please note that these are my own thoughts and biases, so I willingly accept all criticism, skepticism, and responsibility surrounding the following assertions)

While some social media outlets provide excellent platforms to connect and build networking relationships with like-minded people, either for social or professional engagement, Information Sharing social media outlets are designed to do just that- share information. These resources include StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, YouTube, NewsVine, and others. Essentially, you're able to add or recommend information/content to these resources, then share it with your network, and by extension, the world. Most of these resources do allow for comments to be added by other members of the service, but really aren't designed for ongoing discourse. This, as with all the Social Media Buckets, has it's benefits and it's drawbacks.

The benefits to Information Sharing sites can be broken down to two parts- disseminating information and accessing information. First, let's talk about the benefits for disseminating information. For businesses, and people looking to grow their presence in the social media world, these outlets are a terrific free resource to promote your knowledge, skill, ideas, thoughts, and interests. Whether you want to promote your silly lip syncing to 80's love songs on YouTube, or promote an article about your company on Newsvine, Information Sharing sites help you get your message out. As a result, these sites are very appealing to businesses looking to build brand awareness and reputation, and advertisers looking for consumer eyeballs. You can share press release information, provide recommendations for services, review books you've read, create web videos, and so much more. And, of course, all these platforms are highly indexed on search engines, further increasing your visibility and reach. Truly, information sharing sites are a tremendous benefit to building your online presence and reputation.

The benefits for accessing information are just as significant. Once you become a member of these resources, you'll be able to see information shared by people, and more importantly, will begin to develop a level of trust for certain content providers and information disseminators. By seeing ongoing commentary of users, you'll find experts that you agree with or respect, and can then continue to follow or view the information they share. These sites allow us to catch news clips that we may have missed when they aired live, they give our network of friends and associates avenues to send us links to news stories we may care about, and they allow us to search and find virtually any perspective on any subject we wish. Never before have there been so may opportunities to access information- fact, opinion, rumor, innuendo, data, industry experts, analysis, etc- so quickly and with some form of connection to the people disseminating that information.

Of course, there are also very substantial drawbacks to these service. Primarily, in my book, is the fact that very little, if any, of this content is regulated. And, by virtue of the free access, there is no fact-checking or oversight being done. Some may say that there is no accountability, but I would say there is very little. The accountability comes in the form of loyalty and trust of those who access the information. If it's found that the information you provide (attached to you by your username) is fraudulent or completely reckless, people will stop paying attention to you and your information/recommendations.

One of my favorite resources is Twitter. Many people still have difficulty understanding the value of this "microblogging" service that only allows you to post 140 characters at a time. I believe this confusion is based on many people's limited understanding of social networking. In fact, many people misconceive Twitter as a social networking (Bucket #1) or professional networking (Bucket #2) resource. While it certainly does connect people with others, the limits of this platform really relegate it's value to Information Sharing. As you'd see if you followed people, there are a great many links to information and recommendations provided. By following people, you can get a feel for their perspective. Many also don't understand how to jump into Twitter to begin accessing information. Here's a quick example:

Please see the RSS Feed below post. What you're looking at is a feed from a search done on Search.Twitter.Com. I performed the search for "#EFCA", one of my areas of interest recently. What is returned in this feed is every post on Twitter that includes #EFCA. I can then view the profiles of the people "tweeting" about this topic, and decide for myself if I should follow them or not. By following them, I'll have access to see all their posts. This search feature is a great way to find people who are posting information and comments about things you are intereseted in. To make this easier, many people on twitter include what are called hash tags. A hash tag is when you put a # sign next to a term. This makes searching easier. If I post something that has to do with the Employee Free Choice Act, I'll add #EFCA to the post so that people can find it easily.

As you'll see in the RSS feed below, you can find many links to information and opinions about the EFCA. This is a great example of how you can access information through this site. I hope this was helpful to those still treading lightly in the social media ecosystem. Please share your thoughts, questions, and comments.



Val B said...

That helps me a lot. I have been a late comer to this generation of connectedness, an immigrant, as I read somewhere, not a native in this land.

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