Keeping Up With the Network

Where Do You Focus Your Social Energy?

By Published on .

Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
I'm wondering about my breaking point with social networks, especially as it relates to our business. I have a Facebook page, a (terrible) MySpace page that I think I updated in 2005, a LinkedIn account and one for the Oregon Media Network.

I find that Facebook is fun for about 10 minutes after poking and super-poking. It's also very good at attracting unwanted "friends," even though I accept them without thinking twice. I don't even bother with my MySpace page (I think "Tom" is my only friend), and I am equally inconsistent with my engagement on the others, with the possible exception of LinkedIn. Granted, I am 39 years old, so LinkedIn seems to be the logical one to focus on.

I'm currently up to 113 connections on LinkedIn. This is a fairly decent little network, most of whose members are directly involved with our industry. But during the course of the day, it is easy to forget that there are 113 opportunities out there. It's clear that I have yet to mine LinkedIn for some potential nuggets and only have myself to blame for sitting on this potentially useful tool.

There are some questions that keep nagging me, though:
  1. Do you just dive in and see what the hell you can come up with?
  2. Is there some unwritten protocol or verboten things you should never consider doing?
  3. How effective can it all be?
  4. Is this just another thing to take up time in a day that generally starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.? (Yeah, yeah. I know. I need better balance.)
  5. Is keeping track of all of this ultimately valuable for the agency?
  6. Are we dead if we don't play?
I understand the inherent value in social networking. I even like the fact that it got me in touch with an old college friend who appears to have finally put the bong down, ditched the Grateful Dead cassettes (yes, cassettes) and gotten a life going. But, at this point, it's still something that doesn't seem like much of a priority for me or what we're trying to achieve as an agency. I think this is the first time I've felt "old school," old or somewhat like Bob Garfield. (I kid.)

I'm still a little ambivalent at this point, and maybe some of you might be able to convince me of social networking's ultimate business validity, but there is one social network I would like to see: an Ad Age network. That way, Jonah Bloom and Ken Wheaton can have a more direct link to tell me, publicly, when I've stepped over the line once more. But then again, they could do it the semi-old-fashioned way; just send me an e-mail. You know where to find me.
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