Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Have a Question? Ask Facebook.

I decided to run a little social media experiment again. So many people tout the ability of their chosen favorite social media site to deliver news in a quick fashion, whether it comes first- or seventh-hand from following CNN breaking news or hearing something reiterated by a friend. I have enjoyed this aspect of social media myself, which just adds to the fun of connecting with old and new friends. However, I think that only through diverse usage of various social media sites can one truly experience the real potential of taking in all of the information available out there.

But what if you had to choose only one? What if you had a pressing question and needed an answer fast?

This is what I decided to informally test using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I asked the following question on all three sites, "What do you think is the #1 skill that employers want?"

Here are the results:

  • Boobies.*
  • Willingness to work more than expected for less than offered.
  • Communication skills.
  • Dependability.
  • Ability to think.
  • Ability to communicate.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Speaking and writing skills.
  • Leadership.
  • Being able to get along with others.
  • Oral communication skills.
  • Leadership and adaptation.
  • Being able to ask good questions.
  • Responsible.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Outgoing.
  • "Shari Baloch."*
  • 61% — Dependability.
  • 23% — Leadership.
  • 15% — Oral communication proficiency.
  • 0% — Researching/writing/editing.
  • 0% — Technical (computer, etc.)
As you can see, Facebook generated the most responses during the five-hour time period I allowed after almost simultaneously asking the question on each social network. I was surprised, as it is a general point of pride among Twitter users and the service itself that getting answers to questions is quick and effective.

I also enjoyed how my Facebook friends were able to discuss and have a conversation on my wall, some even commenting about what others had said. Some were even curious about why I wanted to know the answer to the question, unsuspecting of my little experiment initially.

With LinkedIn, there's no real sort of feed, so I resorted to using a LinkedIn poll. These polls present a little bit of a problem because there is no "other" option, so I had to give the options of the above responses (and you are limited to five). People can comment on the poll if they want to do so, but there really is not much of a mechanism for collecting original responses or encouraging conversation.

Now, admittedly, this experiment could have been skewed by the size of the networks I have on each service. I have 531 Facebook friends and only 37 LinkedIn connections and 41 Twitter followers. However, 13 of my LinkedIn connections voted in the poll while only nine of my friends commented on my status asking the question on Facebook (though some of them commented more than once). Therefore, even though LinkedIn generated more responses from a smaller pool of participants, I am led to believe that Facebook's presentation of the news feed — combined with its ability to allow conversation through the commenting process — really makes Facebook the best social media site through which to get answers to questions from experts in your field. Or in some cases, at least novice advice from your peers.

*Note: Social media networks are also good places to find smart-ass comments such as these.


Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


JD said...

Thanks for reading, Tessa/Ruth.

Any feedback is appreciated! I'm glad to see my reader numbers are up, especially considering I am conducting a job search now. Hopefully some potential employers will like the blog as much as you and contact me!

Thanks again.