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Thread poster: jyuan_us
What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:21
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Dec 25, 2011

I apologize if I have put this thread to a wrong category but I really don't know where it fits into.

Do you guys use social networking sites? Are they useful? Have you got any project from those sites?

Some of them claim to be a platform for "business and professional networking". Can they really bring any business to you?

A big concern is that you make your own contacts public but you might not get any business in return.

To me this is a big exposure to various risks.

Say, if I add my clients to my contact list, everybody will know who I am working with and they can easily reach my project managers. How are confidentiality and privacy protected?

Will being active in a social networking site lead to business losses in the long run?[Edited at 2011-12-26 01:27 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-26 01:28 GMT]


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 21:21
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mostly cons Dec 26, 2011

Do you guys use social networking sites? - Only for family, friends and nonsense.

Are they useful? - Maybe more professionally oriented sites like Linkedin, although I have no time for them myself.

Have you got any project from those sites? - No

Some of them claim to be a platform for "business and professional networking". Can they really bring any business to you? - Perhaps, if you're lucky, but I wouldn´t bank on it. Nobody is doing anybody any favours - no free lunches.

A big concern is that you make your own contacts public but you might not get any business in return. - Exactly.
To me this is a big exposure to various risks. - Too risky for this suspicious old grouch anyway!.

Say, if I add my clients to my contact list, everybody will know who I am working with and they can easily reach my project managers. How are confidentiality and privacy protected? - You summed it up - they are NOT properly protected.

Will being active in a social networking site lead to business losses in the long run? - Hard to say, but even if there is a slim chance I would avoid it like the plague.


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Ahmad Hafeez
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 22:21
Member (2009)
English to Arabic
+ ...
good reference Dec 26, 2011

Dear jyuan_us,

Please check the following link which was posted here in proz.com

http://www.proz.com/forum/social_networking/208994-10_key_points_freelancers_must_know_about_linkedin.html

Regards

Ahmad


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:21
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
confidentiality concerns Feb 22, 2012

1) Suppose all my clients are included in my Linked-in network, and I can easily see who their clients are. How do we respect our confidentiality obligations?

I remember some of the terms on the NDA forms these clients asked me to sign fuzzily mean that as a vendor I should not disclose the information about their clients, nor contact their clients. However, if they join my LinkedIn, they disclose the names of their own clients in public. Don't they fear that some of their competitors will contact their clients and try to get their business? Although I dare not contact their clients because of the legal liability, how can I know that someone else on my network will not contact their end clients?

2). For the same logic, if I list all my clients as my contacts, all of my vendors will see who I'm working for. My vendors are nice and they will not risk losing business I offer to them by contacting my clients. However, all my clients will be viewable by my contacts' contacts' contacts...And these people have no confidentiality obligations and they have the right to contact my clients wehnever they want.

Is this a concern for you? If so, how would you resolve this concern?

I have been receiving many invitations from my vendors and I have never accepted any of them because of the concerns described above. And now I even stop accepting invitations from my clients. Is this behavior a preferrable one?


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:21
Member (2005)
German to English
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It probably really depends on what you want from them Feb 22, 2012

My 2 cents: I have accounts on LinkedIn, FB and Twitter, none of which I find particularly useful for getting jobs, but then I've never actively pursued that aspect of the platforms. In essence, I find them enjoyable, but very time-consuming. To be really of much use, one has to spend an inordinate amount of time on them to make the "socializing" bear professional fruit. I use twitter on my pc at home if there is some breaking or developing news I'm following, that is the main value I get from it. When I have it on, I use Tweetdeck so I can follow multiple threads, but it's so fast that if you aren't staring at the screen all the time, you miss a lot. I use Facebook to stay in touch with family far away and have found a number of old friends there, but the security issues keep me from using it much and having anything but very few, limited contacts. LinkedIn seems promising if you - again - have a lot of time on your hands to follow up on all your interests there and pursue new avenues.

So in a nutshell, I don't find them particularly useful for business, but I'm sure many people have had other experiences.You can find translators and agencies post posting jobs on all of them, but I have enough clients that I don't feel the urge to apply for assignments I happen to see there. If you have the time, it seems to me that LinkedIn has the most potential for expanding your business network, but again, that's just one opinion. I imagine there can be benefits to all or any of then, if applied correctly and consistently, but to me the main drawback is that they are time sinks.


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James_xia  Identity Verified
Member
English to Chinese
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Moderator of this forum
It's no big deal Aug 7, 2012

Hi jyuan_us,

Nice to talk with you here! Regarding one of your concerns about the clients being detected by visitors, I have here some words to share with you:

To be known by the potential clients, you have to make youselve more visible to the public. That's natural thing! Even the data of the clients are disclosed to the vistors, you're still on the top of the list to quote/receive the new jobs. Visitors who may follow the way you provided to contact the outsourcers are also possible to get the new jobs, but that's not as easy as it looks. In other words, the successful rate would not be that high as you might imagine.

The truth is that they are new and strange to the clients. It often takes more time before the mutual trust is established between them. You're a familiar one, and your good record qurantees that the most future jobs come in to your hands. This occurs simply because of the collaborative relationship that has already been established between you and the specific client.

So there is no need to worry about that.

[Edited at 2012-08-07 08:18 GMT]


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What are the pros and cons of social networking sites?







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