The important networking aspect of social media is best centered around those things that are already your favorite thoughts, interests and hobbies. Finding like-minded new friends is a must online. Using search.twitter.com, google and Facebook to find tweets, blogs and fan pages is a snap. That’s probably the easiest part of the whole experiment. But it leads to the hard part: SHARE in that passion.
I’ve found that most of us aren’t as outgoing as we tend to think we are, or that we think we are engaged just enough. “I’d rather just listen” and “I don’t think I have anything to add” are common comebacks. Don’t be shy. Don’t be reserved. Get out there and write/reply/retweet/question the people you’ve found who have the same thoughts/ideas/questions you have.
That’s why it’s so important to hit this SHARE your passion line of thought: you and I are more likely to chat up what we already think it important and fun. We are more likely to engage and get involved. We are more likely to move out of our shell into an area we have high interest in. And the reciprocal is just as true: SHARING your passion with others who are also SHARING their passion helps YOU get involved with THEM talking about things you are BOTH already heavily invested in.
It’s raining this afternoon. You’re downtown. You need to catch a train. You run through the rain to catch a train (perhaps in Spain?). You are dripping with afternoon wet on the platform with someone else who’s also dripping with afternoon wet. You look at each other, and at this time you both start to speak about the weather. This right now is your life, and it’s the other person’s life, and you’re both wet waiting on a Spanish metro. You’ve SHARED something that is already a part of who you both are. You’ve made a connection over something minimal. And we’ve all done it: “How about this weather?” “Hot enough for you?” “Hear there’s going to be rain this weekend” – and it’s not even at the level of a passion and life interest.
SHARE your passion with other people who are already online SHARING their same passion. Learn from each other – especially from the Smart Kids (maybe that’ll be Step Five) who rise to the top of the conversation. Ask questions, leave comments, write your own blog posts on the matter. SHARE with the network why this particular piece of life is so huge to you, and listen as they share their own bent as well.