Social networking: everything old is new again

I was talking to a collegue today about a class we’re teaching on how to do social networking. In the course of the conversation it occured to me that the supposedly “radical” ideas behind promoting your business by participating on sites like Facebook aren’t all that new or radical.

Here’s the basic tenets of social networking:

  • Make friends
  • Share good information
  • Add to the conversation
  • Help other people
  • Be nice

Doesn’t this look a lot like the report card you got in kindergarten? Mine looked like this:

Mary is a nice little girl who shares her dolls and likes to help others. There is one small problem in that she doesn’t like to stop talking when it’s nap time.

Okay, even then I had a big mouth. But I did share.

Over the years, as we move ahead in our businesses and add a few layers of sophistication, we tend to forget a lot of those old basics that we first learned: Be nice. Don’t hit. Share. Then along comes Facebook and other networks and we discover that those are the skills we’ll need in order to be the kid that all the other kids want to play with.

Somewhere up there, my old kindergarden teacher is laughing.