If I were to keep up with all the social networking sites out there -- aside from Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo & Twitter, I might never get any work done.
A former colleague told me she uses LinkedIn on a daily basis -- she told me this using LinkedIn's email system -- but then told me that was the case when she was looking (and found) a new job. I've been on the site, and it's been helpful tracking down former colleagues just as Facebook has been useful tracking down former classmates.
And that's been nice, catching up with old friends.
But LinkedIn is often cited by reporters as a business-oriented site. I see it as a networking/connecting site, and I do know of some people who use it as part of their job search. But I have not seen any business from it. The same is true for Facebook, Plaxo and Twitter -- and would be, too, if I went to MySpace.
Now there are industry-specific social networking sites, like PR OpenMic. I checked it out, and it seems to be mostly college students and some practitioners. And while I found it interesting to see how some of them view social media since I figure they should be closer to it then I am, I kept thinking: do I need another social media site to check out?
The answer is probably not.
As for the mainstream social networks, I'm not knocking the ability to reconnect with old friends. But the media has often reported on the above sites as being useful for business. I just don't see it, and have not experienced it.
I see them as nice to-do's. As long as you don't expect to generate business leads from them, you won't be disappointed.