Social Web Communities
Jim Gibson - Publishing Partner, Online Media Today
By Jim Gibson - Publishing Partner, Online Media Today

I recently wrote a blog post on the
Top 10 Tips to Get the Most out of LinkedIn and have received some some great comments both here and on the LinkedIn Inbound Marketers Group.   

Although not a formal poll, most who have shared their thoughts believe building quality network connections (over quantity) is the most important consideration when developing a social media presence.  In fact, I'll go as far as saying the same thing likely applies to Twitter and any other enterprise social networking platform used for business development.

But, as there are many who believe in the value of limiting the number of "invites" or "friending" to only those who are considered peers, industry influencers and vetted resources, there are just as many who believe in leaving no stone unturned when it comes to inviting new contacts into their professional world.

The rationale behind the latter approach is clear.  Many social networkers believe the more people they are introduced to, the greater the opportunity will be to connect with new client prospects, employers or industry followers.  With this approach, it boils down to a numbers game.  Although quality can still be a factor, in this case, quantity becomes the underlying motivation to developing social web communities.  

Right or wrong, the challenge with this way of thinking is the status of social networking is changing.  Social networking of the past was all about "me, me, me".  Or "How many people are following me?  How many people am I following?.  The social web, however, is now more about the value of content and how people are reacting to it.  Online communities are getting richer because it's no longer how many people are following you but how well you are able to engage and influence those in your network.

To better understand the framework of today's social web, it's important to understand social networking is dominated by member communities that exhibit 4 behaviors:  Content Creation (knowing what to create), Content Distribution (knowing how to get it out there), Content Consumption (love of content) and Content Conversion (achieving goals).

The social web, however, is no longer just about creation, distribution, consumption and conversions.  In today's social networking environment, the highest priority will be placed on the "value" of the content to the audience.  In other words, how good your content is will ultimately determine your status on the social web.

In short, quality should remain the top priority for successful social networking.  So, if your goal is to get a ton of connections or followers, providing consistently valuable content will invariably lead to more lasting and beneficial connections. 

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About the Author:

Jim Gibson is a certified search engine marketing professional and serial entrepreneur.  In addition to Online Media Today, Jim is a principal at GibSEM Group ( and has founded several internet properties including online B2C directory, Service Omni, Inc. ( and QuakeDog, Inc. (, a network marketing company focused on the sale of personal survival gear.  You can reach Jim at: or follow him @GibSEM.
12/30/2009 12:37:54 am

Great post.

1/1/2010 01:52:02 pm

I have always tried to operate under the philosophy of giving my audience the greatest value while limiting my own self promotion. This has worked very well for my company. Thank you for confirming I am doing the right thing.

S Wilson

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