The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Friday, August 8, 2008

By Dan Klein, DLC Staff Writer

It seems as the Distance Education blog has been on a ‘tools’ kick lately, so here’s one more I’m sure you’ve heard of but you may have overlooked…

As a socialite, cultural observer & active member of the online community, I’ve been in tune with the growth of social networking sites. The younger internet crowd uses the connecting of individuals from around the globe in these extremely popular networking sites to share common experiences, photos, ideas, and comments.

Non-youth readers, you’ve probably heard all about this, haven’t you? You’ve done plenty of other net-savvy things like watched streaming video, subscribed to RSS feeds (like this DistEd blog or the DLC Announcements blog!), and frequented sites tailored to your specific interests, am I right? Just because you aren’t part of the youth of society doesn’t mean you’re any less ‘in the loop’ in regards to the internet. Therefore, don’t overlook these social networking opportunities as just child’s play - they are legitimate work tools.

The social networking sites that youth use to hook up, share photos of concerts, or support causes can also power professional networking. Business professionals use sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to reach the same ends youth socialites like myself do: Connect with others through similar interests, work connections, common geographic area, or other such criteria in ways not possible before.

The same things professionals for years have done in hotel lobbies at seminars, industry meet & greet sessions, and corporate conference rooms can be done globally through these sites! The benefits: a larger potential audience, it works with your schedule, and there’s no dealing with sweaty palms. Asking industry questions in a bar may not yield a thoughtful response, but asking one on a LinkedIn message board to users with similar experience often proves fruitful.

Staying connected is important now more than ever in the business world and young and old professionals alike. Social networking is one of the methods both can use to get advice, get insider information, and to get ahead in your field.



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