Social Networking Tiers

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at Geekend in Savannah Georgia about social networking and the job search. I got quoted for saying “Don’t be stupid”. I like to keep it short and simple and if you know me in real life, you’re probably not surprised.

One of the topics we discussed is a concept of social networking tiers – who do you connect with online and how? Do you only connect with specific people on certain networks?

I’ve done this but I doubt many others are as selective considering I’ve seen so many people with a personal and public Facebook page.  I only have 1 page per account but connect selectively because I share different opinions and information on different sites.

Here’s how I organize the different sites and contacts into 2 tiers:

Tier 1: LinkedIn and Twitter

If I meet you at a networking event and get your business card, I’ll send you a LinkedIn invite and check out your Twitter account. If I see you speak, I’ll seek you out on Twitter.  I also find it crucial to my sanity to follow people I think are really hysterical or really smart (ideally both).

Tier 2: Facebook

My fellow Geekend panelist Hal Thomas said it best in Savannah: “Facebook is like 3rd base – we’re not going there on the first date.”  I have a similar understanding of Facebook friends. The Facebook friends that can view all elements of my page (pics, posts) are only my real life friends. People I’d recognize in any real life setting without trying to remember an avatar.  I’ve created lists with custom privacy settings for certain large groups of people I connect with  like coworkers.  It’s good to organize your friends via list even if you’re not associating different privacy settings because it will help you manage messaging if you’re using Facebook for business.

So where are you connecting with people? How selective are you?

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