About This Issue . . .
is here! Time for warmer weather . . . and maybe a fresh start in terms
of your career! In this issue of The Animal Science Monitor, we’re
going to explore a phenomenon that’s been building for quite some time
and is now firmly entrenched in both people’s personal and professional
lives. That phenomenon is social networking, specifically what it is,
why you should do it, and how should you do it. If you’re shunning
social networking, you might be missing out on opportunities you don’t
even know exist. And to demonstrate our commitment to the ideas and
information presented in this issue, we’d like you to connect with us
on LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals:
Connect to Dan Simmons.
Connect to Don Hunter.
hope that you enjoy this issue of The ASM and that it contains nuggets
of wisdom that you can apply to your career and team-building efforts.
– Dan and Don
Social Networking – What It Is
(By Beth Hilson)
we delve too deeply into the world of social networking, it would be
short sighted of us to assume that everybody knows what social
networking is. As a result, we came to the conclusion that a short
primer is probably in order.
What just about everybody is familiar with is traditional networking
– in other words, making connections and building relationships through
face-to-face meetings or even over the telephone. This was the primary
way that networking was done for decades, even centuries, if you think
about it. Challenging those traditional means is social networking, whose name would seem to denote that it’s similar to traditional methods. However, that’s far from the case.
presented in this article is by no means comprehensive. It’s only meant
to serve as a starting point. The second and third articles in this
issue of The Animal Science Monitor will build upon it and
provide more direction regarding the best way to approach social
networking, both personally and professionally.
Simply put, social networking is an online form of networking
(using, of course, the Internet or World Wide Web) characterized by a
representation of the person who’s engaging in that networking. This
representation in almost all cases takes the form of a profile, which is located on a person’s profile page.
Depending upon the social networking site being used, the profile page
can also include any number of additional features. Some of the most
common ones are listed below:
- A description of the person and/or basic information about them and their interests
- Instant messaging capabilities
- Email capabilities
- Relevant links
in mind that social networking platforms vary from site to site. Some
sites have more features than others, and personal preference plays a
large role in which ones people use on an ongoing basis.
The main purpose of social networking sites is the exchange of information and ideas.
What kind of information? Any and all kinds – if you can think of it,
it’s being exchanged on the Internet via social networking. Another
attractive feature of these sites and one of the reasons that they’re
so popular is that they appear to make communication easier.
Whether that’s actually true or not is a moot point; it’s the
perception, and in cyberspace (just like everywhere else) perception is reality.
Since social networking came on the scene, there are four
main social networking sites that have gained runaway popularity at one
time or another. Those four include MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and
LinkedIn. MySpace was the first one to hit it big, but has shown signs
of decline in recent years. The Animal Science Monitor is part of the other three, which enjoy increasing popularity and continue to add more users.
Speaking of that, we encourage you to include The ASM in your social networking endeavors. You can do so by clicking on one – or all – of the three links provided below:
The following articles will explain why and how you should do it . . . but why waste time? Make The Animal Science Monitor part of your social networking efforts. You never know where it might lead!
Social Networking – Why to Do It
(By Dan Simmons and Don Hunter)
Beth Hilson outlined in the above article, social networking is all
about the exchange of information and the ability to communicate more
readily and on a more consistent basis with friends, relatives, peers,
etc. So now that we’ve discussed what social networking is, the
question becomes this one: why should you do it?
There’s more than one answer to this question.Â� We’ve listed the short ones below, and then we’ll elaborate further.
- To create and maintain your “personal brand,” so that you become recognized as an expert in your field
- To add to your network of contacts, so that you know who to turn to when you need important information
- To connect
with people from your past and stay in touch for the purpose of
building your cache of personal and professional references
Be viewed as an expert!
don’t have to tell you that the economy isn’t the greatest at the
moment. Unemployment is high, hiring is slow, and growth is tepid, to
say the least. This is exactly why it’s important for you to become viewed as an expert
in your field, and not just because you might be contemplating a job
move or a career change, but simply to stay relevant in your current
Even if you intend to stay at your current employer
for the foreseeable future, the key to growing your career, becoming
more valuable, and yes, even increasing your compensation, is to be
considered an expert. You want to be the person that others turn to
when they need to solve a problem or are seeking advice. When you
become that person, your stock rises . . . and in most cases, so do
your earnings and your stature within the company. Social networking is
a great way in which to increase your knowledge base for this purpose.
By making and maintaining connections with others, you’re better able
to exchange information with them and continue building your skills. In
addition, you also increase your visibility, engaging in a bit of
self-promotion that can pay dividends when people begin to view you as
Now, if you are looking for a job
change, social networking can help there, as well, and for many of the
same reasons. After all, people want to hire experts! When it comes to
networking – both traditional and social – you never
know what contact will lead to your next great position. The key is to
increase your visibility and brand yourself in the most effective
fashion possible. Not only that, but as we listed above, connecting
with people from your past can provide you with excellent references,
and that might also make a difference in your job search.
In this day and age of electronic media and the proliferation of the Internet, not
being part of the social networking frenzy could be costing you more
than you realize. At the very least, you could be missing out on
opportunities – both for advancement at your current company or the
chance to land a great job and grow your career in new and exciting
Social Networking – How to Do It
(By Beth Hilson)
In the first two parts of this special series for The ASM, we discussed what social networking is and why
you should do it. In this final part, I’m going to tackle the “how” of
social networking. First, though, let me offer a disclaimer, because it
would be impossible to include everything about how to engage in social
networking in just one article, no matter how long that article is. My
goal is to give an overview of how somebody should approach social
networking and hopefully provide enough information to make them feel
comfortable getting started.
The most important question you
should ask yourself regarding social networking – regardless of whether
you’ve already started or you haven’t yet begun- is “What do I want to do?”
In other words, what’s your goal? What are you trying to accomplish?
You should always keep this in mind as you travel down the social
networking path, because it’s easy to become distracted and lose sight
of it. And if that happens, you won’t achieve the desired results.
The importance of participation
Let’s take a “for
instance” example. That “for instance” would be that you want to use
social networking for the purpose of advancing your career. More than
likely, that’s the case for the majority of readers. In such a
situation, you’d want to select the social networking platforms that
you believe would help you to achieve that goal. One such site is
LinkedIn, which touts itself as the “professional” social networking
site. Some of the other popular sites, such as Twitter and Facebook,
are more personal in nature, although they can still be used for
professional purposes. That being said, the steps involved in getting
started in social networking are pretty simple:
- Through research, determine which social networking sites are right for you.
- Sign up for the service, which will require a username and password.
- Create a profile.
- Populate that profile with relevant information.
- Learn as much as you can about the site (there are usually tutorials available).
- Participate often.
that last step that often proves cumbersome for people. They have no
problem signing up, creating a profile, and filling it with
information. Then they walk away and let it sit there. If you’re not
going to actively participate in a social networking site, there’s
essentially no reason to create the profile in the first place. Ongoing
participation is a huge factor in determining whether or not your efforts will ultimately pay dividends.
One way in which participation can pay dividends is by joining groups. A prime example is LinkedIn, where, after joining a group, you can share information via the “asking/answering questions”
feature. By asking questions pertinent to the group, you can draw upon
the knowledge and experience of others to sharpen your skills. By
answering questions that are posed, you can establish yourself as an
expert in a certain area and demonstrate knowledge that you already
possess to the other members. Click here to join the “Animal Science Monitor Group” on LinkedIn.
An important distinction
You might not think so, but there is a difference between social media and social networking. Specifically, social networking is type
of social media. Blogging, for instance, is a form of social media, but
not necessarily a form of social networking. While it’s true that
information is exchanged and communication is initiated, it represents
a decidedly different dynamic than social networking. The same holds
true for a site like YouTube, which deals with videos, or Flickr, which
promotes photo sharing.
here’s the great part: you can incorporate the tools of social media
sites like YouTube and Flickr into your social networking endeavors.
This will serve to enhance your efforts and increase the chances that
you’ll be successful in achieving your goals whatever those goals might
The last important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t
be intimidated by social networking (or social media, for that matter).
While it’s true that there’s a learning curve and that there’s only so
many hours in a day, if you’re selective about which sites you use and
strategic about how you use them, you might find the experience a fun
and enjoyable one!
Once again, I’d like to encourage you to make The ASM part of that experience:
I’d also like to thank you for your loyal readership of The Animal Science Monitor. Here’s hoping that 2010 is your best year ever for networking – both social and traditional.
Upcoming Events in the Animal Science Industry
At The Animal Science Monitor, we know it’s not all
about social networking . . . it’s about traditional networking, as
well! As a result, we’re advocates of continuous education and the
promotion of industry events such as conferences and conventions. The
training and networking opportunities that exist at these events are
extremely valuable and can pay dividends in a number of different ways.
The ASM is pleased to highlight this upcoming industry event:
Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference – This
annual event is designed for feed industry personnel, nutrition
consultants, extension specialists, veterinarians, and producers. The
conference focuses on a wide range of animal health and animal
nutrition topics relating to the dairy industry. There are also
presentations honoring graduate students’ research efforts. The
location of this year’s event is the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne,
Ind., and the dates are Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21. Click here for
more information. If there’s an industry event that you believe we
should promote through our newsletter, please email your information to
Coming Up in the Next Issue . . .
wondered exactly what a recruiter does . . . or what a recruiter can do
for you? Well, we’ll answer that question in the upcoming issue of The Animal Science Monitor.
Not only that, but we’ll have the next installment in our “Connecting
You” series, which was bumped due to our special issue regarding social
networking. If you’re looking to advance your career or build your team
with top-notch talent, this is an issue you won’t want to miss! The
next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication during the week of April 26.