Tag Archives: social networking

Website Wednesday: Facebook

Okay, okay, I know it’s no big surprise to anyone that I like facebook, especially since a great number of my blog hits come from my facebook and mySpace profiles.  But it wasn’t until last night that I realized the transformative power of social networking.

Just the other day, I was trying to write a post about how hard it is for me to “discover” music on my own.*  I need someone to introduce me to artists and force me to listen to stuff that is outside my comfort zone.  My musical tastes have been primarily shaped by two different groups– my family (most notably my brother) and my friends from college.

As I was writing the post, I was reflecting on my group of college girlfriends and how most of us have remained in touch over the years.  With the notable exception of one girl–Jess.

Stacy, Kelly, Cari, Jess

The girls of Hewett 6: Stacy, Kelly, Cari, Jess

Headbangers--the blonde, the brunette, the redhead

Headbanging? Me, Angie, Jess--the blonde, the brunette, the redhead

She was the musical genius of the group.  And the best athlete. And the most sensitive (believe it or not!).  Jess was everything the rest of us weren’t and she was truly one of a kind.  But we all lost touch with her early in our senior year of college. Inevitably when I’d talk to any of the other girls, we would always ask each other: “Have you heard anything from Jess?” even though we knew the answer.

I’ve searched for Jess on and off over the years, as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve Googled her.  I’ve Googled her parents.  Her brother.  I searched for her on mySpace, on facebook, on LinkedIn.  No dice.

Well, folks–last night it happened!  As I was walking home from the gym, I checked my email.  Sitting there in my Inbox was a friend request from Jess.   I had tears.  I couldn’t get home fast enough.  But, in the meantime I had to text my other friends and let them know that FINALLY Jess had resurfaced.

I immediately rushed to the computer and logged on. Within seconds I was looking at her photo.  She looks exactly the same and seems really happy and healthy. It’s cheesy, but I feel like I found a missing piece of myself when I saw her profile. 

So,  I dedicate this Website Wednesday to facebook.  We all know it’s fun.  And a great time-waster.  And a place where we can throw sheep and send each other fake plants.  But it’s also a place to connect old friends with one another.

God bless the Internet.

———–

*It’s possible that I might actually finish this post eventually, so humor me if you read this part again.

Website Wednesday: Ning

This week’s featured website is www.ning.com. Ning is a site for setting up mini social networks.  Instead of creating a mySpace page or a facebook group around a given topic/subject, you can set up your own Ning.   I’m currently in a few different Nings, including one for work and one for boot camp.

Ning is Chinese for peace, in case you're wondering

Ning is Chinese for peace, in case you're wondering

Nings are great ways to keep in touch and to stay on topic. Like any social networking site, they allow for pictures, public posting, private messaging and “friending.”  Unlike the mega-sites, they’re centered around specific topics, interests or groups.   Since Nings are typically more specialized than groups on mySpace or facebook, they to have a greater sense of purpose and privacy.  

The most successful Nings I’ve seen so far are used as an online extention of  face-to-face relationships.  This makes them perfect for groups/clubs/activities where people want to continue to socialize and interact between sessions/meetings.

(BTW, I’m still looking for suggestions for Website Wednesday. It’s kinda sad when I’m blogging about work-related stuff from home, instead of the other way around!)