Laying Out Your Online Experience

What do you think most people want when they turn to these social technologies? If we throw away the terms for a moment, here’s what I think they want:

A Sign

Moody's Diner

We need a way for people to find us. Having a blog and/or other web presence touchpoints (or outposts) is a good start. It’s an easy way for people to find you. We can’t do business with you if we can’t find you, right? Signs are basic. Want the bonus round early? If I know what you’re selling (even if “selling” is the sale of an idea or belief).

A Friendly Place

PAB Couches

If your online presence is friendly, like a really clean and well-designed site, or if it has a place for you to relax and get acquainted, won’t that help the process of getting to know you? Take a look around your website: is it a place people would want to visit and then stick around? Are you inviting? Do you actually greet your guests on your site or on places like Twitter?

Networking Connections

Social Networking Architecture Project

Building an online presence also gives you the chance to connect with people. Your site and your other outposts on the web should faciliate connection. In my case, I promote connecting with me via LinkedIn, on Facebook and Twitter, but I also give you an email address to reach me on ( blog at chrisbrogan dot com), and of course, you can comment on blog posts.

Connecting is part of the whole social experience. Make it easy for people to reach you. It will make it easier for potential business to flow.

A Storefront

Hanley's General Store

This is optional, but if one goal of your blog and your online presence is to sell something (even if that’s just YOU), make that clear. If you go to my about page, you know what I do. Be clear about your ask. If you want to do business, put it out there. I find this one to be lacking in most people’s interpretation of their online presence.

A People-Centric Mindset

Jim Long and Adrienne Brawley

If you’re not building relationships, connecting with people, getting to know others on the web, and sharing, I’d say you’re doing it wrong, except I rarely believe that. MY take is that the way to get the most out of these online tools, and when you’re visiting these networks like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, and wherever else you choose to visit, if you’re not trying to connect like a human, if you’re not sharing often, then maybe you could revisit your perspective on using the tools.

Good happy people (like Jim and Adrienne in the picture above) should really be the ultimate goal of your online experience.

That All Said…

The tools change all the time. Ways to capture attention and share interesting information come and go daily. Our goals shift. Our needs realign. Your mileage WILL vary.

How do you think you stack up to the above? Did I miss any parts of the puzzle? Which parts are a bit confusing or nebulous to you?

Your thoughts are welcome.

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