Does Being Social Really Make Sense?

Lunch At DiscountASP.NET - ASP.NET Hosting
Lunch Time!!

Let me guess, you don’t care what I had for lunch today, do you (it was a cup o’ noodles, chicken flavored just in case you did care).  You don’t care that I’m about to go to a movie or that I’m checking in at the local coffee shop for the 4th time this week, making me the supreme ruler of that shop and everyone in it. Nope, you don’t care, and that is all that Twitter and Facebook are good for, so why bother with either of them?

Actually, that was almost the exact reason I did not look at any of the Social Media sites back in 2005 when I first started hearing about them. It took a friend of mine to convince me to give them a chance.

Don’t get me wrong, my conversion to Social Media enthusiast was not overnight by any means. It took months of stumbling and fumbling around to discover that with the right tools, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social outlets can be one of the more powerful resources on the Internet today.

For many of us, places like Twitter and Facebook are there just to provide a public outlet for telling the world what we are doing at that moment. From the mundane and pointless all the way to the exciting and important. For others it’s a way to see what old friends and colleagues are up to, without having to really interact with them (that is my sister – I keep telling her she’s Internet stalking people).

Either way, social media has become the #1 way for people to interact and stay in touch. Without Facebook I can guarantee you that my 85 year old Aunt Bev (Love you Aunt Bev) would have no idea what my sisters and I were doing today, but now she is fully engaged in our lives and keeping us up to date on hers.

So I guess you are wondering how this fits into your life as a developer (yeah, I could hear a few of you saying, “get to the point”). When you have time, head on over to Twitter Search and search “ASP.NET MVC.” When you do this you may be amazed by the number of people who are talking about, asking about, or helping others with something like ASP.NET MVC on Twitter. Used properly, Twitter can easily become one of the most powerful resources in your developer library. It also doesn’t hurt that many ASP.NET celebrities (You know who you are Scott Hanselman and  Scott Guthrie) are using Twitter daily to let everyone in on the latest and greatest in ASP.NET and other things.

ASP.NET Developers at Portland Code Camp
Developers Enjoying Code Camp

Facebook on the other hand takes you from being an individual to being a group. Facebook has created Fan Pages and Group Pages where people with common interests (say ASP.NET Developers, hint, hint) can come together in one location to share thoughts and ideas. Another added benefit of Facebook is the ability to create an event (hey Code Camps are events!) and send invites to the events (and I like going to Code Camps!).

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to convince everyone to give social media a try. I understand that this will never really be for everyone (we aren’t all social butterflies). But remember that social activities online are a lot like real life; there will always be value in connecting with those people whose opinions we value most, even if it’s only online.

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