As the ChangingAging Blogstream grows we plan to use the latest social networking tools to connect with our new members and to help them grow and engage with their audiences.
Our first priority of course is blogging — if you have something to say either sign up for a free ChangingAging blog or submit your existing blog to the ChangingAging Blogstream.
Second, we help Blogstream members get their stories and messages across to a bigger audience. Member sites get a boost by having their content syndicated through our various social networks — our RSS feed and Newsletter subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook Page and LinkedIn Group.
Third, and most important, we’re helping Blogstream members foster and build their own community through social networking.
If you’re new to social media, getting started takes some work. But it’s straightforward — social networking is not rocket science. All you need to do is Join, Follow and Share.
For instance, look back at ChangingAging’s social network links. If you haven’t already, Join each of those social networks. Next, follow the prompts to find your friends and Follow them (and don’t forget to Follow ChangingAging too!). Third, begin Sharing your blog posts through your social networks (and just as important, Share content from others that you find interesting).
There is an art to Sharing that I will elaborate on in future posts. Some of it can be automated — such as auto-Tweeting blog posts (recommended) and auto-sharing posts on Facebook (not recommended). But you can’t build a network without also doing hands-on work — reading Twitter feeds, reading other blog posts and commenting or Re-Tweeting both.
Some Blogstream members new to social media will need a lot more information and time before they’re comfortable jumping into something like Twitter. All the same, it’s important to sign-up for an account and secure your preferred username ASAP. And if you have any reservations about what Twitter is for and why you should use it, read this article about Twitter’s CNN moment.
I’ve created a Twitter List for Blogstream members who have Twitter accounts. Please look for yourself here and let me know if I’m missing anyone: http://twitter.com/#!/changingaging/changingaging-blogstream Of course, I recommend Following the List and Following each individual on the list. That way, when changing aging news breaks you’ll be the first to know.