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Online Social Presence

A couple weeks ago I attended the Storage Network World conference in Grapevine, Texas.  At this event one of the presenters challenged each attendee to stand up and meet two people in their immediate vicinity that they didn’t know.  Lucky for me, I knew no one, so I reached across the table and introduced myself to one of the gentlemen that was sitting at the same table I was sitting at.  This gentleman was a CIO for a large health resource group in the DFW area.  After asking where I was from, the next question I was asked took me by surprise.  This well dressed CIO inquired about my “online presence“.  I hesitated for a second and responded that I tweet more than anything else when it came to by profession as a technologist.

This question has lingered with me for the last couple of weeks.  As chance would have it, as I pondered the implications of this question and the session this gentleman conducted later in the week about leadership, I was presented an opportunity to talk about social media for a conference to be held in April 2011.  I knew immediately what I wanted to talk about, “Strategies for an Online Social Presence.”

Notice that I’m not as interested in an online presence, but I’m convinced that there is a social aspect that quantifies this presence.   From my perspective, static, out-of-date, and historical presence is not an online presence.  A web page, blog, or even a social media lurker is not an online presence.  Having a resume uploaded to Monster two years ago does not count.  Having a Facebook account that is locked out to your professional colleagues or a LinkedIn account that you haven’t visited in the last six months does not count.  The social qualifier means that you are a regular visitor and contributor.  You are not only being seen, but you are regularly interacting with others online.   In my opinion, this constitutes an online presence that is  social.

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