To Join Or Not To Join

In the past year I’ve become quite active on Facebook and LinkedIn. I have a blog, but I still don’t tweet. I’ve been part of conversations with NPFW members — young and old — about whether they should join and whether it’s a time waster.

At the least, any one in the communiations field needs to be familiar with the platforms. The only way to truly understand them is to participate, even if it’s only for a short time.

At the NFPW conference in San Antonio, Texas, blogger Nettie Hartsock described LinkedIn “as your corporate boardroom” and Facebook “as your playground.” It’s the distinction I’ve chosen to make, too. So if we networked professionally, please join me on LinkedIn. If you and I meet for dinner or talk on the phone in the evenings, please friend me.

The problem, though, is when co-workers ask you to be their friend on Facebook. It seems almost rude or antisocial to say no. Instead, I send a message and ask them to connect with me on LinkedIn.

When that didn’t work so well, I simply created a second Facebook account — this one for co-workers. I don’t post often to that one, but it does come in handy because I and my co-workers are able to share photos and videos. I work for ChildFund International, and employees travel frequently worldwide and capture video and photos of the children we serve. Facebook provides us with an easy-to-use platform to share what we’ve captured.

And ultimately, that’s the reason to join. If the platform offers you a benefit then join. If it doesn’t and is only hindering or aggravating you, then it’s okay not to join. There is another platform just waiting around the corner, and it may be exactly what you were looking for.

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