Social Networking WebsitesThis article is quite out of date now try these articles instead: Creating an Artists Facebook Page and An Artists Guide To Twitter.
Social networking websites and examples of social software have exploded in popularity and ubiquity recently (2005,2006) and the classic example of such a website is MySpace. Essentially they provide a way for the average web user to submit content to the internet and to interact with others. Joining such websites can provide a good means to spread one's reach to the world. If you are trying to promote your website, then a good presence on a social network can allow you to steer more eyeballs at your site.
Using Social Networks
Social networks are, by and large, free services (some charge for premium accounts) and in general do not require any special technical skills to use. Normally, it's simply a case of signing up to join, although some networks are by invitation only.
You will usually be guided through the sign-up process, asked questions about yourself and interests, choose a profile photo and most likely being encouraged to send invites to all your friends to join too. Each network will have its own specific themes and features, but they all have an emphasis on meeting others on the network.
Being a member of one of these websites can work well in tandem with your own separate website as well. Whilst your own website should give you the means to present your artwork in the way you choose and be up-to-date with your current work, being a member of such sites allows you to keep a running dialogue that others can participate in. It can be an excellent way to get feedback from people you'd otherwise never hear from.
- Basic profile
- 'Who I'd like to meet'
- Images - profile image etc.
- Customise profile colours, backgrounds etc (often requires use of [HTML http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML] and [CSS http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS])
- Make friends
- Send messages to and leave comments on a friend's profile
- Join groups and forums
- Search for people, geographically, by shared interests or general browsing
- See who's been looking at your profile
- Block users
- Include music & video on your profile
Making The Most Of Social Networks
Most major social networks have a plethora of third party websites with tools, tips and advice on how to make the most of your experience. These are often a better source of information than the original site itself!
- Complete your profile as fully as possible.
- Don't put people off by 'over doing it' on customising your profile appearance. A moderate and tasteful profile is safer than a loud and non-conventional style
- Use a striking image for your profile image - more people will click on it!
- Use the blog feature; regular contributions can encourage people to come back to your blog.
- It's good to create a dialogue with people. Send a message before requesting to be linked with them.
- Adding Comments to your friends' profiles can be a nice compliment to them, but it can also bring attention to you from other people visiting their profile.
- The more time you spend on the site, the more you will get out of it (warning, it can be addictive!)
- Newer users can often be more receptive, as there tends to be a peak of interest in the site at the beginning.
- Of course, link to any other websites you have in your profile.
Key Social Networks
|Care2||Green living and activism||6,600,000 13 November 2006]||Open|
|LiveJournal||Blogging||10,921,263 15 August 2006||Open|
|MySpace||General||130,000,000 28 November 2006||Open|
|Xanga||Blogs and "metro" areas||40,000,000 July 21 2005||Open|
|Business||1,000,000 31 January 2006||Open|