PASS Connector Editorial for August 26- by Andy Warren

In a previous editorial, I wrote about networking with a focus on in-person skills. This time I’d like to move the focus to social networking by sharing some thoughts I have, talking about what PASS is doing in social networking right now, and asking for your ideas on what we can do better!
I talk to a lot of people about networking in general and the responses vary a lot. Many see huge value in social networking, and others see it as a time sink. At times the choices and time investment can seem bewildering. Our options include blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Google profiles, and more. Should we do all of them? What’s the return on the time investment? Do I miss out if I don’t participate everywhere? For me, I’ve deciding on blogging and LinkedIn for now, though I may end up using all of them just because I need to see how PASS is doing on each of them. But other than that, I’ve tried to make choices that are right for me.
For PASS, we’ve decided to support the most popular/successful ones, so we’ve got a Facebook page, a Twitter presence, and a LinkedIn Group. Many of the Chapters have LinkedIn group as well, and we have a sub-group for bloggers. Our general approach there is to provide the venue, let the ones who prefer each of those tools interact socially, and really try to not mess up a good thing. We’ll post “big” announcements there at times, but I think we want to make those places the fun places to be a PASS member, the places where we focus on people more than technology, the places where you can find people that share your interests and build new relationships.
That’s my vision, but my choice of solutions probably blinds me to things that we could do that many of you would find useful. What can we add to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn that would make it more valuable to you? Is there another tool or site that we should consider in addition to or instead of? Should we be trying to drive the interactions more, or is providing the gathering place enough? Should we filter posts harder on LinkedIn to reduce the noise?
Send us some ideas and comments by posting it to the PASS blog entry for this editorial, or just emailing me at andy.warren@sqlpass.org. I can’t guarantee we’ll like or be able to execute every idea that comes in, but we’ll look at all of them and try to update our strategy where we see we can sustain it.