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What is your favorite social networking tool for professionals?

I've been a big fan of LinkedIn for quite a while.  Sometimes I refer to LinkedIn as “Facebook for grown-ups.”    But I’ve dabbled in quite a few:  Facebook, MySpace, Quechup, Zubka, Twitter, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn, Spock, Plaxo, etc.

After serving on a technology panel at the recent "Women Returning to Work" seminar offered by the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, I became even more aware that there are many web-based tools for connecting people to people, and there is often confusion as to which is best to use.  Specifically, people want to know which ones are best to use for business purposes.  So, with this post I hope to create a bit of dialog.

Please comment back and let me know of any professional or career networking solutions you have enjoyed using.  Please tell us why or why not.   You might also let the rest of us know if there are any from which you would advise a young and upcoming professional to steer clear.  

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Heather Spencer wrote:
I prefer LinkedIn for professional connections and Facebook for student connections. Once these students graduate, I keep track of them through either means. Both are great tools for making connections and staying current with new trends.

Tue, April 15, 2008 @ 9:17 AM

2. Tim Wall wrote:
It seems to me that the value of a social network is largely dependent on the number of people using it, so I have pretty much focused on the big ones. I use LinkedIn and Facebook, but I'm trying to integrate them better so that I really only have to mess with one thing. It's too crazy to try and keep up with profiles on a bunch of different tools. I'm hoping to be able to integrate LinkedIn into Facebook and then just do most everything through Facebook, but we'll see.

Tue, April 15, 2008 @ 9:29 AM

3. Mark - Productivity502 wrote:
I've been surprised how well Facebook has been able to transition to more of a professional tool for people out of college. I generally use LinkedIn, but have recently started using Facebook simply because there are so many people who use it. One mistake I see a lot of people make is failing to define if a particular social networking account is personal or professional. If you don't decide how you want to use it ahead of time it is easy to end up with a bunch of stuff that conflicts with what you are trying to accomplish. For example, if you are using Facebook for professional networking, you probably should send out the vampire invites or any of those types of things.

Wed, April 16, 2008 @ 10:24 AM

4. Terry Apodaca wrote:
I still don't use Facebook for professional purposes...it's a place where I can keep up with old College friends, but rarely has it seemed the place for me to use for professional reference or such. My preference is LinkedIn for professional use. Since it's creation I've had many contacts and successful candidates passed through and/or from me. It doesn't have all that clutter that other places have in plugins, application add ons, etc. It's to-the-point-linked-together-in-case-there's-greener-grass. It's also a place I'd prefer to have references too. Like the above post states, you have to decide which one to make your professional media and leave the others personal. I too have many accounts: twitter, pounce, linkedin, myspace, facebook, etc... Maybe there is still some room for a media that's a good mix between facebook and linkedin...I am sure it would be a great 'mashup?'.

Wed, April 16, 2008 @ 1:53 PM

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