As are we all, I too am active on a bunch of social networks. But I too do not connect or friend everyone on every network. I think we all want some semblance of control as to what we share and with whom we share it. To help me decide, I created my precedents, a set of guidelines as to whom I will connect with on which network and what I share there.
Social networks to me are all about news and conversations. Business, friendship, tech nerdery, scotch, jokes, embarrassing personal photos, interesting articles, they all have their place and their network. And the precedents help me decide which and where.
If you have requested friendship on a social network and not received a response, chances are you did not fit the profile in my precedents. I assume that if I have requested the same from you, that I have not fitted the profile of your precedents. This does not mean we should not be connected, just that my preferred network may differ from yours. We should find our precedents, the networks we choose in common.
So, for the record, here are my precedents:
LinkedIn is for business, and business alone, my professional network. The businesses in question are my consulting business (Noverse) or my hedge fund employer. I prefer to have emails in my business account, taken a face to face meeting or had at least one business, professional phone call before connecting with someone on LinkedIn. I do not accept connections from strangers on LinkedIn, even though many people say that doing so is “good for business”.
I use Facebook and Foursquare for social friends and family only. No business allowed, this one is for fun. I share my personal experiences, make silly jokes and stay in touch with far flung family and friends. In order to make the cut here, we need to have enjoyed at least one social occasion, at least one drink, or be blood relatives.
Twitter, App.Net, Pinboard, and Game Center (as Hiltmon) are our public networks, and I will connect with anyone, anytime on any of these services. I am most active on Twitter, and I find it’s a great way to get news, interesting articles, and get in touch with folks anytime. I have met and conversed with some amazing people on Twitter and look forward to new conversations on it.
Although this site is not a true social network, I use Disqus comments here, and it alerts me via email when a new comment is posted. I am happy to talk to anyone via the comments here, but prefer to take longer discussions offline onto Twitter or email.
I am also somewhat active on Flickr and Instagram, and I have a Skype account. The precedent for connecting on these is that I have a connection with you on another service first, and have had at least one conversation before we connect on these networks.
Since we all have to, I too have a Google+ account, but no one else seems to use it. So far I have connected to all who request, but so few do. I still have no idea how, when, where or why to use it, but it’s there, in case.
And then there is email, old school, anywhere, anytime with anyone. I am always up for a good email. But there’s no guarantee of a response. See my about page on where to email me.
Of course, there are folks I never agree to connect with, including recruiters, spammers, cold callers, advertisers, anonymous users and the like. I wish to engage and converse on social networks, not be sold to, advertised to or hassled on them. I get enough of that elsewhere. I’m sure you all feel the same way.
So there they are, the precedents I use to select who I connect with on which network.
You, dear reader, you I do want to connect with. Pick a social network where our precedents meet, send a message, and say hello. And if there is a network I am not on, and I fit your precedents to connect there, let me know about it and I will sign up.