Finding friends on Facebook
With so many more people joining social networks, of which Facebook is one of the most popular, the question becomes how to find connections since, after all, a network is only as good as its contacts.
Facebook’s Friend Finder function will allow you to go through your email address books to find contacts who are already on Facebook (and other networking sites have similar applications). Once you’ve friend requested your contacts with Facebook profiles, you will be asked to invite your contacts who do not have profiles. Do *not* invite them. This is the thing: you’re not the first one on Facebook. Your friends have profiles … that were opened with alternate email addresses. (It’s 2009 and lots of us have multiple email addresses for multiple purposes.)
It is, in fact, frustrating getting a request from a friend that’s been sent to the “wrong” email address since there’s no way to redirect the request to your profile to accept it. (Well, maybe there is a way to redirect the request / look up your wayward friend, but that certainly can’t be done after you’ve accidentally deleted the request because you thought it was spam. Which may or may not have happened to me. More than once.) Any who.
Facebook also has a “Suggestions” function that, well, suggests people you might know. It finds people who are friends of your existing friends and, although I don’t have this on good authority, I swear it now also trawls through your address books automatically. (I’ve seen people pop up in my suggestions box who are not mutual friends of any of my friends but whose names I know are in my email address books.) A third way to add friends is to simply scroll through the Friends list of one of your friends.
If you find yourself adding friends willy nilly, you will want to make sure that you either censor yourself so that your posts are appropriate for a general audience (and by “general” I mean “your boss and your parents / children”) or you should set your privacy settings / group your contacts so that your narratives of your enchanting but untoward behavior is not shared with people with whom you should not be sharing enchanting but untoward behavior. (Authors should use the lowest privacy settings, however — unless a profile is for personal use only — since the point of joining Facebook is so that fans and readers can find and see everything.)
Different networking sites will have different etiquette when it comes to “friending” people you do not know. On Twitter, for example, most people follow friends as well as random people who just seem interesting. On Facebook, though, while some people (like authors wanting to connect with readers) accept friend requests from everyone, many others prefer to only accept requests from people who are actually friends.
For those of you looking to join / become more active on Twitter, check this post about the Follower / Following lists. Do you belong to other networks popular with people in publishing like Good Reads? Any tips / tricks for finding contacts?
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Fall 2012: I’ve really enjoyed writing about book publicity and meeting (0nline and in person) writers, publicists, editors, agents and others in the publishing industry, but I’ve — reluctantly — come to the conclusion that I just don’t have the time to maintain this blog.
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For some time now, I’ve closely followed a lot of very informative sites about media and about the publishing industry. Since I find myself quite voluble at times about issues that pertain to my job in the publicity department at a large publishing house, I thought I’d set up a book publicity blog. The purpose of this blog is provide tips, primarily, but also information about publishing / marketing trends that will help book publicists — and hopefully others in media and publishing — do our jobs with greater ease and efficiency. Please note that the opinions expressed on this blog are my own, not those of my company.
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