What social networking service or building block is important to have in Your social network?

Here’s a brief round-up of the social networking services or features that comprise Web 2.0, and are commonly found in social networks. By looking at them within the context of business, their usefulness for networking, sharing knowledge and learning are pretty dramatically apparent.

Profile Page: In business networking, the profile page is a representation of who you are that provides tangible and identifiable benefits to you and members of your social network. Not only does the profile page fulfill some of the tasks that a résumé would, but also provides an overview to the content you’ve created or participated on the network, becoming a dynamic aggregator of all your activities. Normally profile is searchable by multiply criteria. For a professional who wants to be found it is always beneficical to have an extensive profile.


Friending: Now you have professional colleagues, and, if it’s not quite the same as eating lunch with your fellow colleagues each day, your online colleagues may be more likely to share your direct interests, answer your questions and understand your specific challenges.

Forums: or discussion forums is a great feature that present in almost all social networks and through which discussions could take place over time and are threaded (making them easy to read and follow). Having conversations gathered in one place where they’re easy to read and search takes discussion forums to a new level and often makes them the heart of a social network and the most valuable social networking service.

Photo/video/audio/document uploading: The tools for uploading “resources” like photos, videos, and documents take on new meaning in social networking, enabling the sharing of practically every information available. Uploading a lesson plan or an important white paper and tagging it so others can easily find it provides a platform for great collaboration.

Membership Directory:While not formally called “directories,” in many social networks, the combination of member listings with the ability to search for members based on their profile information serves the purpose of helping members find each other and create a “colleague” relationship.

Event Calendars: Using this tool for business or educational purposes — e.g., highlighting professional development events or valuable broadcasts, busibess conferences — makes an events module of significant value.

Groups: Groups or smaller versions of networks not only provide a way for existing affiliations or associations to expand, they also allow for new connections to be created, nurtured, and sustained around more narrow interest areas, timely events, topical issues, ad-hoc projects, and much more.

Blog: Allows users to maintain their blog on the social network.

Chat: Chat can provide a surprisingly meaningful way to use informal communication to get to know someone miles away. In a social network made up largely of asynchronous communication tools, it provides the opportunity for immediate, synchronous responses and dialog.


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