Larry BraunerLast week, in Whether Hackers from Anonymous Bring Down Facebook on November 5 as Threatened or Not, I suggested that you find ways to reduce your risk of loss should Facebook go away.

I asked you, “How can you protect your interests by diverting or diversifying your networking and marketing efforts starting right now?”

Some readers recommended that we back up our data, but I pointed out that we can not back up our relationships like pictures or profiles.

Sal made a couple of very good points:
Facebook

  1. “I think there is no real way to mitigate completely against the damage that losing Facebook would mean, any more than you could mitigate against losing Google.”
  2.  ”On the Internet, you always have to see it coming and mitigate against it by having as many, diverse, independent sources of prospective customers as possible.”

While I agree completely with Sal’s remarks, I ask, how can we at least partially mitigate against the damage? What practical measures we can take?

Just as an example, we might start groups on LinkedIn and invite fellow Facebook group members to join these groups. Unfortunately, LinkedIn groups don’t have the same functionality as Facebook groups, and not all of our fellow Facebook group members will join us on LinkedIn, but this is nevertheless a practical partial solution.

We might instead choose a Ning social network or a Ning group within a particular Ning social network, etc. You get the idea.

Now it’s your turn again. What are your ideas? I would like to hear them, and I’ll share mine.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , , ,


Larry BraunerLast Tuesday, Ellis Hamburger relayed what seemed to be a highly credible threat to permanently bring down Facebook on November 5, hardly an auspicious date, in Hacker Group Anonymous Vows To Destroy Facebook On November 5.

The following day, Ellis posted an update that  slightly mitigated that threat in Hacker Group Anonymous’ Leadership Disowns “Operation Facebook,” Only “Some Anons” Are Involved. He reported that the threat was issued only by a minority of the hackers within the Anonymous group and not by the group as a whole.

Ellis cautioned, however, that “nothing changes the fact that there are some talented hackers part of Anonymous that want to take down Facebook, even if the organization’s leadership does not condone it.”

Crafting Your Facebook “Plan B”

FacebookWhether hackers will actually succeed in destroying Facebook on November 5 as threatened or not, this is probably a good time to ponder the following three questions:

  1. How critical is the role that Facebook plays in your business or personal life? After all, the existence and viability of Facebook is far beyond your control or mine.
  2. What would you lose if Facebook were to close down permanently without or even with prior notice? Consider the ways in which you use Facebook, the many contacts you’ve made and all the social capital you’ve accumulated.
  3. How can you protect your interests by diverting or diversifying your networking and marketing efforts starting right now? This question, while the most important, is also the most difficult to answer, since Facebook offers numerous and unique benefits; the popularity of Facebook is much more than accidental.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: ,

    Larry BraunerI stated in How to Benefit from the New Facebook Groups that “you don’t need to lead a group in order to benefit from it.” In other words, there is value in joining other people’s Facebook groups. That value can be enormous, as I’ll explain.

    Facebook Group Members Become Followers

    FacebookEvery new Facebook group has members who follow that group and all of its conversations by means of the Facebook notification system. Not every member will monitor or engage in discussions, but some will. Therefore, each time you become a member of one of the new Facebook groups, you acquire potential new followers.

    For each subject that interests you, join as many relevant new Facebook groups as you can find using the Facebook search function. Once you’ve joined the group and can browse its discussions, if you find that they’re in a language you don’t understand, or that the group is overrun by spammers, leave the group.

    Examine the list of new Facebook groups to which I belong. You’ll find that they fall into a many categories, and that most categories contain more than one group. I suggest that you follow a similar approach, and if you wish to join some of the same groups as I, don’t hesitate.

    Here are three very important points:

    1. Don’t use the new Facebook groups merely to push out your own content, since that’s spam. Group members will see through your approach and ignore you. Not only that, the group moderator might even reprimand you or expel you from the group.
    2. Share content with each Facebook group that’s relevant to that group. Group members will appreciate you, enjoy your participation and become genuine followers.
    3. Don’t just post. “Like” other people’s posts too and comment on them when appropriate.

    As I browse the web, I keep my eyes open for content worth sharing. I then share it in a variety of places including the relevant  new Facebook groups to which I belong. When the time comes to share my own content, I follow the exact same procedure, but because I’ve played fair, my posts aren’t viewed at all as spam. Consequently, I receive lots of traffic from Facebook and other social websites.

    Go now and acquire some Facebook followers. The relationships you build in the new Facebook groups can easily grow into meaningful social or business friendships.

    Before you go, however, please do subscribe and leave a comment. ;-)

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , , ,

    Larry BraunerA Facebook friend recently asked about accepting friend requests on social networking sites, and I promised to discuss the matter. There is no single correct approach. However, by contrasting Facebook and LinkedIn, I hope to present and clarify a few of the issues.

    Accepting Friends on Facebook

    FacebookFacebook is a social website intended primarily for social networking. Regarding accepting friends on Facebook, whether using Facebook for business networking or social networking, the best approach is clearly to be selective,  because of both privacy concerns and the 5,000 Facebook friend limit.

    Should you unwittingly accept a con artist as a friend on Facebook, you’ll give that person greater access to your personal information and the personal information of your friends. If somebody who invites you to become a friend appears suspicious, reject the offer and indicate to Facebook that you don’t know the person.

    You also need to be selective, because Facebook friends are limited. I myself accept all requests that are plausible, but I continually unfriend people for one of the following reasons:

    • They spam me or annoy me.
    • Facebook tells me that it’s their birthday, and when I visit their profile pages, I have no idea who they are. In other words, I can’t remember them ever having any interaction with me.

    In this manner, I fine tune my friend list, so that when I do reach 5,000 Facebook friends, most of those connections will have real social networking or business networking value to me.

    Accepting Friends on LinkedIn

    LinkedInLinkedIn is a social website intended exclusively for business networking. Regarding accepting friends on LinkedIn, there are two contrastingly different approaches that have gained acceptance within the LinkedIn community. You are free to choose either approach, but, once you do, you need to follow your chosen approach consistently.

    1. Closed Networking Approach - You connect on LinkedIn only with people you know or whom your respected contacts introduce to you. LinkedIn recommends and approves of this approach, as it allows you to build a trusted business network.
    2. Open Networking Approach - You connect on LinkedIn with as many people as possible, since your objective is maximize your reach and visibility on the business networking site. You may occasionally need to remove people who abuse the connection with you. This is the approach I myself have adopted, and you may feel free to invite me. My LinkedIn email is in my LinkedIn profile.

    Comments and questions are welcome. Please subscribe and “like” my Facebook page.

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Larry BraunerIn New Facebook Groups for Better or Worse, I shared my reservations about the new Facebook groups and their potential to annoy Facebook users.

    However, after ample testing and observation, I’m no longer worried about negative effects and have come to view the new Facebook groups as a viable business networking and content syndication tool.

    The  on-site and email notifications generated by the new Facebook groups can become irritating, but it’s from these in-your-face notifications that the new groups derive their power. They tend to stimulate member activity. On the other hand, the notifications from the old groups had come to be viewed as total spam and were no longer the least bit effective.

    Customize Your New Facebook Group Notifications

    FacebookThe customizable settings of the new Facebook groups help regulate the volume of notifications, add once you learn how to manage them, the new Facebook groups become beneficial and enjoyable.

    New Facebook groups provide four notification settings that you can adjust:

    1. Notify me when - “A member posts or comments” or “a member posts” are good settings for your favorite Facebook groups or groups you moderate. For other groups, you should choose “a friend posts” or “only posts I am subscribed to.” (I myself prefer the latter option, “only posts I am subscribed to.”)
    2. Also send an email to - Unless you’re off Facebook a lot, you probably should uncheck this box.
    3. Show this group in home navigation - This setting isn’t as critical as the others, since it doesn’t affect notifications. I myself set my favorite Facebook groups to “Always” and the rest of the groups to “Never.”  
    4. Send me group chat messages - Unless you enjoy group chatting or you moderate that group, you should uncheck this box.

    You Need Not Start Your Own Facebook Groups

    Starting your own Facebook groups affords you some control but less than you might think. True, you make up the group rules, and while you can remove any member you wish, nobody can remove you. Nevertheless, abuse your group by spamming or otherwise, and your members will ignore your group or quit entirely.

    For this reason, control of your Facebook group is illusory. Groups can be led but not controlled, and you don’t need to own or moderate a group in order to lead it. Furthermore, you don’t need to lead a group in order to benefit from it and enjoy it.

    Why Start New Facebook Groups of Your Own

    Here are a few valid reasons for starting your own Facebook groups:

    • Necessity - You’re unable to find any new Facebook groups that fit your particular niche.
    • Collaboration - You want to collaborate on a project with your Facebook friends or associates.
    • Segmentation - Your Facebook friends share diverse interests with you. Segmenting your friends using groups will let you explore special interests together.
    • Promotion - New Facebook groups can be used judiciously to supplement Facebook fan pages.

    When you start a new Facebook group, keep the best interests of your membership in mind. Reciprocity makes the networking world go around. Be prepared to give, not just to get.

    Please subscribe and like my Facebook page.

    Comments are welcome — of course. :-)

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , , ,


    Larry BraunerYou are using your Facebook personal profile for business despite 7 Issues to Consider About Doing Business on Facebook and despite advice dispensed in ONE Facebook Business Page, No More, No Fewer.

    Alternatively, you’re preparing to convert your Facebook personal profile using the new Facebook personal profile to Facebook business page migration tool.

    FacebookIn either case, you’d benefit from acquiring additional Facebook friends who share an interest in your business niche. Here are 10 tips that will help you add Facebook business friends:

    1. Choosing Facebook Friends Wisely - Don’t invite random people. It’s a waste of time and a waste of your 5,000 Facebook friend quota.
    2. Staying out of Trouble - Don’t send invitations in rapid succession or invite people whose privacy settings are very restrictive. If there’s no message button, not much information or wall posts showing, or if Facebook questions whether you really know the person, move on.
    3. Introducing Yourself - Include a short message, such as “Hi. I’m a ballooning enthusiast and author of the book, “Avoiding Deflation.”
    4. People You Know in Real Life - Ask your business colleagues if they’re on Facebook or search for them.
    5. LinkedIn Connections - Do the same with LinkedIn networking connections who share an interest in your business niche.
    6. Twitter Profiles - Search Twitter accounts for interesting people. Then check whether they’re on Facebook. Start your conversations in 140 characters and then transfer them to Facebook.
    7. Facebook Research - Facebook groups, pages,your Home page, etc., are all places to find lots of potential friends.
    8. Friend Suggestions - Here’s the best part of all: If you add friends carefully,  Facebook will reward you by recommending favorable choices for friends.
    9. Engage Your Facebook Friends - Engage your Facebook friends in conversations, and you’ll get to know those of their friends who join in.
    10. Don’t Be Afraid to Unfriend - If for any reason you’re questioning why someone is your Facebook friend, the Unfriend link on his or her profile is waiting impatiently for you to click on it. (If you do that to me, however, I won’t ever forgive you.)

    I recently added many devoted watch enthusiasts and industry insiders to my roster of Facebook business friends using these ideas.

    Don’t hesitate leave a comment — and if you’re new to my blog, I invite you to subscribe and like my Facebook page.

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: ,

    Larry BraunerThe successful LinkedIn IPO last week seems to indicate that investors expect business networking and content curation giant LinkedIn to grow within its niche despite increasing Facebook domination of the social web.

    By maintaining a business focus, LinkedIn’s growth could persist unhampered by that of its social networking counterpart. For this reason, many articles have been written of late presenting strategies and techniques to maximize LinkedIn effectiveness, including my own 10 Tips for LinkedIn Social Networking.

    LinkedIn Strategy and Technique

    LinkedInThe following 18 articles explore a wide range of viewpoints, and they will hopefully help you to formulate and implement your LinkedIn plan:

    1. The LinkedIn IPO: Why it matters to your day-to-day
    2. Web Success in the LinkedIn Era
    3. How LinkedIn Changed The Way I Do Business
    4. LinkedIn Beginner Tips
    5. Social Networking: LinkedIn vs. Facebook
    6. 7 Steps To Help You Build Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn
    7. 10 Ways to Maximize LinkedIn for Personal Branding
    8. LinkedIn Strategies for Personal Branding
    9. How to get Recommendations on LinkedIn
    10. How to Drive Traffic from LinkedIn
    11. HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Advanced Social Media Search
    12. How to Make the Most from LinkedIn Company Pages
    13. LinkedIn Business Profiles: Add Admins to Your Company’s Profile
    14. Is your sensitive company info being leaked on LinkedIn?
    15. Cultivating Meaningful LinkedIn Connections
    16. Building Solid Business Relationships Using LinkedIn
    17. LinkedIn Marketing
    18. 10 Top LinkedIn Open Networkers and Connectors to Follow in 2011

    I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. My email address is in my LinkedIn profile, should you need it.

    Please subscribe and “like” my Facebook page, too. :-)

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , ,

    Larry BraunerMy top social media sites aren’t particularly the social sites that receive the greatest number of visitors. They’re social media sites I find the most pleasurable to use and that fit in some way into my search and social strategy.

    My top 10 social media sites nicely complement all of my blogging and search engine optimization efforts. Your list of top social media sites will likely differ from mine, since it’s highly improbable that you and I will share identical search and social strategies.

    For the record, here are the Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Websites, the Top 15 Most Popular Web 2.0 Websites, and the Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites according to eBizMBA, from which you can pick and choose.

    My Top Social Media Sites

    Social Media SitesThe following are my top 10 social media sites at present, and while Facebook is my favorite social media site by far, the rest of the social media sites are listed only very approximately in order of my personal preference.

    1. Facebook - I spend more time on Facebook than on all other social media sites combined. I use my Facebook profile for networking and my Facebook page, as well as those of my place of business and my clients, for marketing and for community building. I also participate in quite a few of the new Facebook groups.
    2. Ning - I use Ning for marketing and for community building. My favorite Ning social networking websites are the Small Business Network and My Linking Power Forum. I plan to launch more Ning sites in the future.
    3. LinkedIn - I use LinkedIn strictly for business networking and have more than 4,000 direct connections. You may add me to your network using the email address in my LinkedIn profile.
    4. Twitter - I manage a number of Twitter business accounts using my Tweet Adder software. My main account is @larrybrauner. I share lots of links on Twitter and monitor each account for mentions and replies.
    5. StumbleUpon - Of all the social media sites listed, StumbleUpon is the one that generates the most web traffic. I’ve already shared more than 700 web pages through my StumbleUpon account. Share as many good web pages as you can and categorize them well.
    6. Business Exchange - I use my account at Business Exchange to share business content and to rub elbows with the information elite. Occasionally, I receive large bursts of traffic from this bookmarking site.
    7. Amplify - I share content as often as I can on Amplify, partly for the Amplify community and partly for the dofollow links this micro-blogging site provides.
    8. Posterous - Ditto for my micro-blog on Posterous.
    9. Delicious - Content on Delicious is often picked up and linked-to by other sites. Use tags correctly, with hyphens or underscores between the words in your keyword phrases for best results. I believe that it also helps content to get indexed quickly by the search engines.
    10. Digg - I use Digg for pretty much the same benefits as Delicious.

    Now it’s your turn. Which social media sites do you like and why? :-)

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , , ,

    Larry BraunerThere are the old Facebook groups, and there are also the new Facebook groups that will very soon supersede the old.

    I wrote several articles last summer about the old Facebook groups:

    Since the content of old Facebook groups is not syndicated to news feeds, members only become aware of new content through an intrusive group broadcast or by randomly visiting the group.  Unfortunately, I became increasingly disenchanted with old Facebook groups because of too little engagement and interactivity.

    New Facebook Groups Wreak Havoc

    FacebookAlong came new Facebook groups, and I quickly seized the opportunity to try them out. Before long, I wrote about my experience with the new groups in New Facebook Groups Wreak Havoc:

    “By default, a member is notified every time another member posts. If the new Facebook group is large, members will be bombarded with unwanted email notifications and chat window popups. The engagement problem is solved, but a new notification problem is created.

    “Users who are bothered by the quantity of email notifications can change their notification setting to “only posts I am subscribed to” and reduce or eliminate the notification problem — once they figure out how to do so.

    “However, there’s a bigger problem not yet mentioned: One can be added by Facebook friends to new Facebook groups without pre-approval. Therefore, before one knows what’s happening, and before one can leave the group or change one’s notification setting, emails start flowing into his or her inbox, seemingly out of nowhere.”

    With the new Facebook groups, the pendulum had swung in the opposite direction. The potential for unwanted notifications and spam alarmed me. Facebook had created a virtual monster.

    New Facebook Groups Superseding the Old

    Perhaps the havoc has subsided or there was less of it than I imagined, for Facebook has decided to phase out the old Facebook groups and to phase in the new. They’ve done a little tweaking to the groups but not much. All I can advise, therefore, is to use the new Facebook groups with caution. I hope Facebook’s initiative will be successful.

    Check out Facebook Groups – a complete Guide. If used effectively, the new Facebook groups can be a great tool for networking and collaboration. I plan to use the new form of groups primarily for business networking.

    My New Facebook Groups

    I invite you to join me in any of my new Facebook groups that interest you. Simply join a group and wait for your membership to be approved. These are my seven new Facebook groups:

    1. Larry Brauner (My Personal Group)
    2. Fabulous Baby Boomers
    3. Social Media Enthusiasts
    4. Enterprising Business Leaders
    5. Rockland County, New York
    6. Watch Enthusiasts
    7. Stumblers (StumbleUpon Group)

    Want to invite readers to join your new Facebook groups? The floor is now yours. Go ahead and leave a comment. :-)

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: , ,

    Larry BraunerI’ve written many articles about social networking sites. Here’s some food for thought.

    Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning call themselves social networking sites, while Twitter does not. However, Twitter has features like messaging and re-tweeting that can facilitate social networking.

    Little Real Networking on Social Networking Sites

    Social Networking SitesThese social networking platforms are extremely popular, but in my opinion, there’s little real social or business networking taking place on these online networking sites.

    Sure, people are connecting and communicating on these sites, but few so-called social networkers are developing the important relationships that lead to the introductions, recommendations and opportunities they desire.

    Social networking sites are used quite a lot to substitute for email, to share content, and to market products and services. Social networking sites are only infrequently used to build their users meaningful business or social networks.

    Do you agree with my assessment, and if so, why do you think this is true? Lack of knowledge? Laziness? Other factors?

    Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

    Dofollow Blogs Online Social Networking Home Online Social Networking Sitemap About Larry Brauner
    Sharing is Caring! Use the handy SHARE widget.

    Bookmark and Share

    Tags: ,

    ← Previous PageNext Page →