Facebook is notorious for causing people to lose their jobs or not get hired at all, tarnishing reputations, and allowing nosy people to get their daily gossip. There are many social networking alternatives to Facebook, however, that are much more targeted and allow for you to publish just the information that applies to certain people. For example, you wouldn’t want your boss looking at your partying pictures on your Facebook, but you may want potential employers to be able to find your resume on a different social networking site. You may want to keep your business separate from your personal life by sending out 160-character messages advertising certain promotions.
If you’re looking for a more targeted, less invasive social networking alternative to Facebook, here are a few options:
LinkedIn.com is wonderful if you’re looking for a social networking site for professionals. When you log on to LinkedIn, you’re able to post your resume, or the information you want your current or potential employers to be able to see. You can also make ‘connections’, which is similar to making friends on Facebook. These connections allow you to keep contact with current or past colleagues or employers; if you’re looking for a job later, you’ll be able to contact these connections more easily.
LinkedIn allows you to post your industry, location, and the kind of contact you’re interested in from consulting offers to job inquiries so that potential employers will be able to contact you if they’re looking to hire.
The best part? It is not possible to post partying pictures, and all the information employers will be able to see on LinkedIn will be your professional history and references.
Twitter is popular because it only allows users to post 160-character messages onto their page, and it forces people to have concise posts. Technically called micro-blogging, Twitter allows you to be updated with only the important things in your friends’ lives, and also alerts you to the most popular topics being discussed through its trending topics sidebar. There have been many times I have noticed a keyword on trending topics, been confused, and done research only to be enlightened about some major event going on in the news. Twitter can help you stay up to date so you can participate in the water cooler chat without being too invasive.
If you’re looking into Twitter, you must be aware that many use the social networking site as a means to advertise their business, which can be annoying or highly informative if used correctly. Through the use of Twitter, you’ll become aware of promotions or coupons available from your favorite restaurants or stores, if you follow them.
While not as popular as Twitter and LinkedIn, GoodReads.com is a social networking alternative for those who love reading and books. GoodReads allows you to network with other people who love reading, and you can talk about great books that you’ve read as if you were in a virtual book club. In fact, you can form a book club with friends you’ve made using this social networking tool. GoodReads.com also allows you to enter to win free books and find out about great books you may never have heard of. GoodReads is a highly targeted social networking site, so you won’t be bombarded by as much useless information and unwelcome people as you would be on Facebook.
Tumblr is a micro blogging website, similar to Twitter, but it allows for longer posts than Twitter does. It’s basically a short form blog, and as a user, you can post pictures, videos, text, and anything else you feel would be useful. While you can follow other people who have blogs, you don’t have the ‘friends’ that you do on Facebook, and you choose the information that you post onto your blog. The format isn’t as constricting as it is on Facebook, as you choose how you want to display your thoughts. You can always delete personal information, and you don’t even have to release your name if you don’t want to. While Tumblr is still a smaller social networking alternative to Facebook, it is growing as celebrities such as John Mayer and Hayley Williams religiously post on their micro blogs.