Saturday, June 13, 2009

Social Networking: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It took me a long time to even get interested in social networking. However, many people I respected in both business and politics were telling me I was way behind the curve. Furthermore, it gets a little old to have your kids constantly call you a "dinosaur" because you are not up to speed with this or that current trend. This is all the more so the case when it deals with the Internet.

I started my MySpace and Twitter accounts a couple of years ago, but did very little with any of them. I started a Facebook account later, but sat on it for months as well. Today, I use Facebook more than any, Twitter is catching on, and I have no idea how to even log in to my MySpace account. That is okay though, because my kids keep assuring me that MySpace "is so high school." Who wants that?

I update my Facebook account several times a day. If it is midday and there is a few hours between my last update, I get a little stressed out. I have to find something to post! I often go to Fox News and other websites and glance at the headlines and try to give them my own unique spin. I also post articles of mine from BizPlusBlog.com, AmericanDailyReview.com, Reuters.com, ChicagoSunTimes, or one of the many other sources that are out there. Placing those articles on my Facebook "wall" leads them being found all over the place after that. This is one of the strengths to Facebook.

Facebook has enabled me to fast track relationships and find new friends all over the country. It allows me to test ideas before they become an article or give me some feedback that I use on my radio show, the Price of Business. If my 1,000 plus friends didn't like it on Facebook, why force the thousands who listen to my show to be subject to it? Many new people who have become my friends on Facebook have told me they have done so in order to influence some of my content on the radio and else where, which is great.


Twitter has been harder for me to warm up to. I understood the value of Facebook almost immediately. You can place your articles, promote, your ideas, do more detailed searches for friends and potential friends, and more. This is not the case with Twitter or, it was not nearly as easy to ramp up.

One of my biggest concerns is that I am a writer as well as a radio host, and it is so challenging to put anything of interest or value in 140 characters. Who are they trying to kid? To me, I get paid by the word, so the type of word economy I am learning is amazing.

I have, however, seen Twitter work. The circulation value of events, interviews, ideas, etc., is amazing. I have just over 200 followers at this time, so when I write something and it is "Retweeted" to others, you enjoy the multiplier effect. My friend Felicia Cravens, who is one of the more sophisticated individuals I know at the art of the Twitter (and a leader of the Houston Tea Party effort) has over 2,000 followers. Once she gets hold of something I write, it flies from there. I have had a few questions answered to news stories or people have given me sources for shows or articles. I am beginning to see the power.

To sum up...

I enjoy Facebook and Twitter and even see their practical value. My use of both, I am sure, will only grow. On the other hand, as a writer, I find it a little distracting. The pressure to convey a powerful idea in 140 characters, has made me economize in words, even when I should let it out a little. I will have to learn to balance Facebook and Twitter with my other media responsibilities, but I feel confident that social networking are here to stay.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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