Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finding connections

I was so excited about start my first day of not having to go to work that I woke up at 3:30am yesterday to get started. There was so much I wanted to do! I was going to have a daily goal to, among other things, read and share an article I liked (done via Twitter and Facebook), connect with the author (done via Linked until today.)

I'd started to write a very long blog post about all the ways to find great articles, but I'll save that for another day and just tell you that the tool I used yesterday was popurls It's an aggregator that shows all the most popular links from lots of other tools and newsites.

A quick scan showed me a title that looked interesting: 5 Geeky Ways To Ask Someone to Marry You. Given that my primary relationship is with Laptop Guy, you may have guessed that I'm a Geeky Romantic. I checked out the article and found it quite entertaining. Great websites and other tools were mentioned, such as creating an instant website. I used the “Retweet” widget at the bottom of the page to let my followers on Twitter know about this article with the click of a button. Since I have Twitter connected to FaceBook, this also went to my Facebook friends. This is a very easy way to share information and articles that you like with others.

My next goal was to connect to the author, Ryan Dube. Clicking on the link, I was brought to a page that let me subscribe via an RSS feed to (again, explaining this will be another post for another day.) The page gave a little bio of Ryan with a lot of other great articles he's written, including one that is especially pertinent to me right now: Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites.

I searched the three big social media sites: Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn to see if I could find Ryan. One of the coolest things about social media is that it allows you to actually communicate with the real people behind an article that you just read. My search on Twitter and FaceBook revealed multiple Ryan Dube's and I wasn't able to tell which was the Ryan Dube I wanted to connect with. However on LinkedIn I found a Ryan Dube that included Staff Writer at MakeUseOf . Bingo! I found my guy! It turns out he even is in shared group with me: The Freelance Writers Connection

I sent Ryan an email using LinkedIn, asking if he'd connect and telling him a little about myself and that I'd like to include him in my next blog post. He sent me a very cool response:

Thanks Yvette! It was fun to write - been trying to push the limits at MakeUseOf and get tech geeks to think a little more like regular folks. Life's not all about free apps and cool Sorry to hear about the layoff...seems like so many people are going through that right now. I hope everything works out for you. The good news - if you enjoy writing, the Internet presents a whole new world of opportunity to earn decent income! Best of luck - I'll be following your blog! -Ryan

So now I have “connected” with a real person – someone that I admire and can learn from. It's so cool that due to the power of social media, we can have real conversations – one on one – with the people we find in cyberspace!

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