Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Networking

The audience at Rutgers

This past Saturday I was a mentor at the Rutgers One-on-One conference. It's a wonderful conference to attend, both as a mentor and mentee (at least, so I've been told re: the mentee part), and I've participated for four or five years. In addition to being matched with an author, I was also on a panel discussing Social Networking: "Get a Grip: Using Social Media Tools Effectively." My fellow panelists were author/illustrator Katie Davis, Deborah Sloan, Founder of marketing and promotion firm Deborah Sloan and Company, and the moderator was Bloomsbury Associate Editor Caroline Abbey.

The wikipedia definition of social networking (and as Caroline said, wikipedia is itself a kind of social network) is:
A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities.

In our two conference calls before Saturday, it became apparent that us three panelists were most enamored with Twitter out of all of the available social media outlets out there. I've made no secret of my love of Twitter (remember my Ode to Twitter?), and both Deborah and Katie love it, too--as a resource, as a community, as a marketing tool.

We'll be doing a Twitter Chat this afternoon from 12:30-1:30 EST, using the hashtag #rcclbuzz. Please stop in, whether to ask or answer questions, or just be a fly on the wall. And if you haven't tried Twitter yet, well, no time like the present! Author Gregory Pincus has a great website that helped me when I was first trying it out:

And here's a great explanation about how to participate in Twitter chats:

(I'm sorry if I'm sounding like an advertisement for Twitter--it's just that I do believe in it's value. However, I will say that some people do get addicted, especially if you own a Smart Phone, and I'd suggest setting limits for yourself.)

At the start of the panel, we did a quick rundown of which social media we were all using, so I thought I'd outline my answers, and how I'm using each.

-Twitter (@planetalvina. During workdays, I try to limit myself to checking once first thing in the morning, again at lunch, and again after 5 pm, for no longer than 20 minutes each time. Of course, I don't always abide by these rules! I use Twitter for both personal and professional reasons. I follow publishing people, entertainment people, and news people.)

-Facebook (I only accept friend request from people I remember meeting. If we've met and I don't accept your request, feel free to send me a note reminding where we met. If I still don't accept, please don't follow up a second time. I generally link my Twitter updates to Facebook, and go back and forth between the two. Because Facebook is more of a closed community, I use it for more personal reasons, to keep up with friends and relatives.)

-Linked In (I will only accept requests from people I know personally and/or have done business with. I don't use it actively, but I am on there for professional reasons.)

-Goodreads (I no longer rate books, but do add books that I've read as a record for myself. However, I have a bookshelf of "books I've edited and love" and do rate all of those books as 5-stars--of course!)

-Blogger: you're reading this post on the Blue Rose Girls group blog! I also have a personal blog at

-YouTube: my channel is here. Both personal and kidlit-related videos.

-Google Buzz: friends only

-Flickr (personal use only)

What are your social networking sites of choice?


Parag said...

First of all, I was amazed to see the number of people joining various kinds of social networking websites. Initially many of us used them for maintaining contacts with friends and family who are far away. Then the idea changed and were used for various kinds of business activities. And most of them are profitable when used properly.
Using social networking sites

Meryl K. Evans said...

Thanks for mentioning my twitter chats post. Twitter chats are wonderful -- lots of insights, networking and fun.