As I've written in the past, Facebook is the most legitimate and productive social network for business professionals on the Web today. Not only does it connect people with other contacts, but it also, either intentionally or unintentionally, evolved into a powerful platform for aggregating all online activity to showcase a professionally wrapped package of expertise, personality, networks, and experience.
But Facebook is much more than a social network. Its infrastructure facilitates profile and presence aggregation, channeling all online activity through one main hub. Simply said, it becomes a repository for every social media product, which ultimately transitions from a static profile into a dynamic destination for your personal and professional brand.
And, with lifestreams and data streams creating additional channels to broadcast social activity, Facebook also further contributes to the "river of relevance" by allowing people to create a visually-rich, centralized dashboard that also helps to tell your story and spark conversations.
With social tools adapting their services to Facebook through the use of widgets , we can easily share a wealth of integrated activity including twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce for microblogging, RSS readers for sharing relevant stories, flickr for sharing pictures, "video" or kyte for adding live or packaged video, upcoming.org for sharing events, and the list goes on and on.
It's not just about collecting and arranging important streams however. It also represents how you interact and participate within the community itself. The mini-feed on each profile or the main "home" is the pulse of Facebook (no pun intended Plaxo.) It is also a river of relevance that displays invaluable insight, giving you tdirect access into the most important conversations and activities taking place in and out of Facebook. It also is your opportunity to shine the spotlight on your own activities, which demonstrate how you participate - keeping in mind that participation is also marketing.
Now with Facebook's recent announcement that it will be integrating profiles into search engine results, its value as an online hub for showcasing a cohesive online brand is will skyrocket.
Here's what you need to know:
"In a few weeks, we will allow these Public Search listings (depending on users' individual privacy settings) to be found by search engines like Google, MSN Live, Yahoo, etc. We think this will help more people connect and find value from Facebook without exposing any actual profile information or data."Imagine that someone is "googling" you and that your Facebook is one of the top results. A well written and strategically populated "public" profile could be the one-stop page that represents who you are and why you matter to your peers and prospects.
How will you tell your story?
What is the brand you want to portray?
Whether you know it or not, your profile, your feed, the groups you belong to, the events you attend and the friends you share say everything about you.
What all of this nets down to is that Facebook, now more than ever, is becoming a powerful platform, showcase, and scale for your social capital, inside and outside the network.
Fore more about Facebook and its opportunities in the business world, attend Dave McClure's upcoming conference Graphing Social Patterns: The Business and Technology of Facebook
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Connect on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce or Facebook.
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Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the ...
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