Feature

Workplace

Think before you poke

“Bill Gates doesn’t get a lot of credit these days for being a visionary,” said Simon Dumenco in Portfolio. But in his assessment of the business benefits of social-networking sites, “he may still be a step ahead of the rest of us,” Gates recently quit his daily habit of using Facebook.com “cold turkey”—probably because everyone wanted to be his “friend.” What’s somewhat surprising is that Gates was on Facebook in the first place. He “obviously doesn’t need to schmooze” online, though frankly “neither do you.”

Don’t be so sure, said Eve Tahmincioglu in MSNBC.com. “Let’s face it,” social-networking sites have helped many workers with their careers, and most likely “you need to be part of at least one of these networks.” But one is probably enough: Concentrating your effort to “build a solid network” in a single place will help you avoid wasting time. “When it comes to professional networking,” most experts consider LinkedIn the best site for professionals. If you find LinkedIn’s no-frills style to be too stuffy, Facebook is a “good alternative.” Just learn to use the privacy settings: You want would-be employers browsing your portfolio, not party photos.

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