Sunday, January 3, 2010
Why it is better to connect to contacts online?
With the spread of social network services, it got quite easier to keep in touch, but many companies still did not hit the opportunity yet. Online contact management not only will give you the chance to count on latest contact information if not find interesting business contact, be found by possible clients or to inform about people, you never have seen before. So what would be the best tool to share contacts online?
As often there is not the one and only choice but several services, that differ a little bit in functionality. As Sean Carlos states, factors as number of members, target market penetration, local language support, sync options, visibility in search engines and time available to maintain a profile are advantageous.
Best solution to ensure permanent contact data, would be to use a lifetime-domain you own by yourself to ensure maximum independence from any provider. Actually it is much better design to mail
something like http://mydomain.com/profile and redirect that, then putting contact data, that might be outdated sooner or later.
The most famous Social Business Networks come with contact-look-up function, where you immediately see, who of your gmail-, yahoo-, hotmail or facebook-contacts already is member of the social media service. The more you are connected to your friends the more information about them you will be able to gather!
I usually refer to my Xing-Profile, since it allows me to decide, which contact information I share with whom and it is based in Germany, where laws to protect private data are quite better then in USA and most other places on earth. It also has some technical advantages. Though it is still second biggest social business network and far behind market leader LinkedIn.com, it has more open and powerful search capabilities as well as smart sharing functions like its main competitor. It probably will cost you more then an hour to configure and understand function of the application chances to find people without investing in paid version are quite high. Xing also comes with tools for synchronization, but when I synced my Outlook some time ago, it did not handle well the in- /export of images.
If syncronisation is most important, you definitively should have a look at Plaxo and Linkedin. To have a profile in more then one service is especially good.
Nowadays, most of the networks come with some kind of activity- feed, that allows you get notice about what your contacts are up to. Basically it is a good chance to stay up to date also about contact, you do not talk to so often.