Online relationships: Friend or Foe?
This article first appeared in one of Taiwan’s leading business publications, 30 Magazine. (June 2011, issue 82) Please click here for the online article.
Note: As this is not a dedicated interview, out team has summarized the article and included main points made by Morris.
The Internet is increasingly gaining prominence over that of the real world. Web 2.0 had progressed to Web 3.0. People are relying on the Social Networking Sites (SNS), such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn…, etc. Statistics show that people spend at least 19 minutes a day on Facebook connecting with their network friends. Those friends include best friends, friends of friends; and one of them may hold the key to change your life. Kelly Services research shows that 33% of people place emphasis on using LinkedIn or Facebook in their job search and applications. Many also find their ideal jobs via online relationships with others.
Links between you and acquaintances are called “weak links”. On the other hand, “strong” links describe your close friends and family. We are able to connect with people through the Internet. This helps to strengthen the value of such links. People crave new knowledge and innovation in order to survive in this day and age. Links with acquaintances contains a lot of opportunity from different industry fields and people can acquire information easily without spending too much time and effort nurturing a relationship or a “strong link”.
However, online relationships also carry with it some risks which one should be aware of. It’s like a cactus. It flourishes without watering, but its thorns will still hurt. How can we develop worthwhile online relationships? Morris Sim, CEO of Circos Brand Karma, share with us three key points:
Tip 1: Link with Each Other
Although we establish a lot of weak links on the Internet, it does not mean that we have a “relationship”. It requires having “links” with each other in order to start building it up. We often see friends recommending restaurants on Facebook. To connect with them, we may go to the restaurant, take some photos, upload them to Facebook and post your comment on his wall. There is no in-person meeting but yet we are able to interact with them. This way, it helps us to improve our friendships that have “weak” links.
Tip 2: Be Concerned About Your Needs
If everyone has similar needs, it would mean there is a niche market. Sim noticed that there is a need to find out more hotels & accommodations by observing interactions amongst friends. Therefore, he set up Circos Brand Karma. With the younger generation, word of mouth comments are more trust-worthy than a hotel’s official advertisements. Above all, being able to share your similar views and sentiments with an audience would attract them to follow your page and to interact with you.
Tip 3: Friend or Foe?
Do not give false information or simply share unchecked thoughts. This is an international scene and many people around the world may be keeping tabs on what you post.
Sim hires people through LinkedIn and not through traditional job agencies. LinkedIn is a professional social website about creating business networks. He also says that you can know more about a person’s professional background and friendships on this site and have a look at his recommendations, if any. Online relationships are considered as “Frienemy” (Friend-Enemy) , so one needs to be more careful about publishing falsities about themselves. If they ever get found out, the results would be disastrous.
Written by Lin Jing-yi, 30 Magazine
Summarized & translated by Grace Guo, Brand Karma Editorial Team
Edited by Avery Ho, Brand Karma Editorial Team