Larry Brauner

Who says you can only do online social networking using social networking sites?

For quite a few years Max Steingart has been showing people how to use Instant Messenger to develop new friendships and business contacts online.

Today we have social networking sites available to us, however the real-time aspect of Instant Messaging makes IM a great social networking tool.

I recommend that you visit Max’s site, join his mailing list, and download a copy of his e-book, Make the Internet Your Warm Market.

Some of the key topics Max covers in his book are:

  • “What is your Warm Market and how can the Internet replace it?”
  • Why you want to use Instant Messaging
  • The Member Directory
  • The required steps to making a new friend or gaining a new client
  • Searching for the right people
  • How to start a conversation
  • Internet etiquette and safety

Not only will you learn another way to network, the training you will receive can help you network more effectively using any social networking site.

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Larry BraunerCommunication is the backbone of online networking.

In my post of November 11th I discussed the “High Tech/High Touch” concept, and on November 13th I discussed different forms of communication and “the asynchronous nature of social networking sites”.

According to the principle of “High Tech/High Touch” we need more rather than less intimate communication in these digital times.

Social networking sites present us with excellent tools to communicate asynchronously through commenting, messaging, posting bulletins and posting blogs.

There are new advances almost daily, but social networking sites still only partially address our need to relate more intimately in real time through synchronous channels such as instant messaging, telephony, video and face-to-face meetings.

To network more successfully, get more personal!

One thing that might hold you back is a concern for your personal security, especially if you’re a woman, and even more so if you’re a single woman. I will suggest several ways to mitigate this concern.

You could also be uncomfortable getting closer to a certain individual (hopefully not me LOL). Rely on your instincts and intuition. Exercise good judgment — but don’t be overly paranoid.

Here are my favorite ways to ensure a modicum of privacy while taking communication to the next level. They complement networking on any site.

  1. Get a headset with a microphone for US$20 or so, and download Skype to your computer. Skype lets you talk for free and anonymously to other users all over the world. It also permits small conference calls. With a headset both of your hands will be free to operate your computer or to take notes.
  2. Give out your cell phone number. You’ll enjoy the convenience of speaking anytime anywhere without revealing your full name or your address. Some disadvantages of using your cell phone are that you might incur cost and that you may receive annoying calls from time to time. You must decide for yourself whether it’s worth it.
  3. Get your own free conference number and PIN. You and your friend can call in at the same time to speak. If it’s your conference line, you can be sure that there’s no way to capture your phone number. The main down side here is that this protects you but not the other person.
  4. Install Trillian on your computer. Trillian lets you instant message people on Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and AIM all from one program. Instant messaging is not as good as talking, but it’s real time and interactive — definitely a step in the right direction.
  5. Starbucks anybody?

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Larry BraunerPeople have been communicating for thousands of years. There are two basic forms of communication, synchronous and asynchronous.

During synchronous communication all parties interact without any time lapse. Face-to-face speaking, telephone conversations and Instant Messaging are all synchronous. The word “Instant” just about sums it up.

During asynchronous communication parties interact at intervals, either because of convenience or out of necessity. Mail, messengers, fax mail, voice mail and e-mail are all asynchronous.

The accessibility and speed of fax mail, voice messaging and e-mail have revolutionized and popularized asynchronous communication. People appreciate the reply-when-you-want convenience of it as well as its ability to transcend time zones and facilitate global communication.

In major corporations e-mail has become the primary method of contact. Memos are passe and telephone calls are considered somewhat intrusive. But don’t expect phone calls and staff meetings to ever disappear, because, as I indicated in a previous post, people crave the High Touch intimacy that meetings afford them.

However, out in the world-at-large e-mail has taken a big hit recently. Spam filtering by Internet service providers and concerns about privacy have led the populace to seek something more reliable and secure. Enter social networking sites! These sites are capable of providing us with the functionality that e-mail did in the past plus a big additional benefit, file sharing.

The asynchronous nature of social networking sites, and the ability of these sites to replace e-mail, have contributed greatly to the popularity of this form of interaction.

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