Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Facebook A Great Place To Network With Others...

Len Rapoport's Facebook profile

As president of International Press Association a web based organization with international members of the independent media, photographers, photojournalists, journalists and others, I do quite a bit of networking. This means going to trade and consumer shows, media events, travel destinations and many other places, but I have found the internet one of the best places to network with others.

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I first started to network on LinkedIn and you can even see a link to my profile on this blog. I also joined YouTube which gives me an opportunity to post my little video productions, grab the code and then simply paste it into my profile page on my web site. I also went over to MySpace and opened an account there, but frankly, I think MySpace is more for the kids and haven't done anything there other then upload some videos because I have found their compression scheme on uploaded videos much better then the one YouTube uses. I tend to use MySpace as a free storage unit that can serve my videos, slide shows and images on my web site without my server getting bogged down and using my bandwidth to serve the content myself. I have included some samples of a MySpace video and slide show to show you what I mean.

Now back to Facebook. Facebook is a wonderful social networking site that encourages you to invite your friends and family to your "Friends" network so you can share many aspects of your personal life with them. This means your photos, videos, profile, your current mood, your interests, what you are doing now, links and so much more. They offer companies like mine two ways to set up a presense on Facebook, the first is meant for the musician, artist, photographer, small business to have a "Page" on Facebook. Unlike a group the page lets you invite people to become a "Fan" of your page. You can usually find these pages set up by individual fans of a singing star or actor/actress. Many models amateur and professional will also set up a Fan page and IPA now has one as well. You can view our page by clicking here.

On our page we can include fans photos, videos, topics to discuss, wall postings and much more. It also allows us the ability to send out a message to all our fans. We can invite them to a party, meeting or if you are a singer, the next performance of your act in their town.

Now the Group page is a bit different and can only be set up by the entity that owns that group or company. So you will see our International Press Association Group on Facebook that looks a bit like the page, but again has its own special features.

On our group we have similar features to upload photos, videos, wall postings, links, etc., but we can't send a message out to part of or all of the group members. The difference is that one is a company page and the other Fan Page is just that a fan page and tends to be a bit different.

We ask all of our members and friends to join both and if they want a personal relationship with me to simply invite me to join their Facebook network. All they need to do is a simple member search using my name: Len Rapoport.

Len Rapoport's Facebook profile

Now remember, you can use these sites to take advantage of many free services that other site will charge you for including, Friend Finders, and others and they probably have more members on a Facebook or MySpace site then many of those paid sites. Give it a try, it is not hard to learn how to use and you will find a great way to keep in touch with old and current friends and relatives too.

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