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By Robert Rapier on Apr 3, 2009 with no responses

Web 2.0

Slowly but surely I am getting sucked into the networking aspect of the ‘Web 2.0′ world. For a long time I ignored these sites, but have come to appreciate that they can be used to share links and ideas and to keep up with people/sites I am interested in.

I guess it started out with an invitation to join LinkedIn (My Profile here). LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals, and I imagine it would be quite handy if one were searching for a job. As of this writing, I have 42 connections on LinkedIn, many people I work with now or have in the past.

Next came Facebook, which is more of a purely social networking site than LinkedIn. (My Facebook profile here). I typically provide some updates there, but I have to be careful that I don’t get sucked into endless chats. I usually pop in and out quickly to avoid that. I have 65 ‘friends’ on Facebook currently, including people I have never met, people who read R-Squared, classmates from high school and college, and even family members. I find Facebook to be OK for keeping up with friends, but it can turn into a real time-waster as there are numerous pointless games and such designed to keep people on the site for as long as possible.

Finally, I signed up with Twitter last week. (My Twitter profile here). Still not sure how that experiment is going to pan out. The nice thing about Facebook and Twitter is that I can provide short updates from my Blackberry. That is pretty handy when I am on the road. I plan to utilize both next week when I am in D.C. if I think there is anything of interest to report.

There are numerous other sites along the lines of the ones I have mentioned, but I think these will keep me busy enough for now. (If you think I missed an important one, please mention it).

To summarize, LinkedIn has proven occasionally useful and is good for keeping up with professional colleagues, but I think it would be especially useful for job seekers. Facebook is a good place to hook up with friends from 20 years ago, but it can also be used to share links and chat about particular areas of interest. Twitter is more of an experiment for me at this stage, but I plan to give it a workout next week.

Speaking of next week, it will largely be quiet for me as I attend the 2009 EIA Energy Conference. I just noticed today that Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is giving the keynote address. There are lots of other interesting topics to be discussed, so I will take good notes and provide an update after the conference.