Thursday, May 27, 2010


Now a days there are so many ways to “reach out and touch” someone that you may never have to leave the comforts of your home to do it! I mean I can look at all your pretty little faces if you and I have a connection to “Skype.” This is a place where you and the person you’re communicating with can see one another on the screen of your computer. If you got a puppy you want to sell, you can put him on your lap and if nothing else the other person can see his darling little face.

I have accounts with many of these social networks. Some of them I barely use. One of the most popular is “Twitter.” I personally do not understand the excitement about this network. This is where you write a few sentences to people telling them what you are doing today. It’s seems to be immensely popular with the entertainment community. They leave messages on there all the time. I did a small search to see if I could locate any German Shepherd Dog folk. I didn’t find any that I knew personally, but I did find some German Shepherd rescues groups. Twitter is probably a good source to advertise your business.

Then there is Facebook, probably the most popular of all the social networks. More and more German Shepherd Dog people are discovering this huge gathering of enthusiasts of the breed. Unlike Twitter, on Facebook you can put your picture there and your litters and stud dogs, your show win pictures, your family pictures, your kennel, German Shepherd rescues, your business, etc. Also you can put videos on this web-site. It truly is a great way to meet other people in our community. Half of the people that are on my Facebook account, I don’t even know, but this is a good way of getting to know them.

Now with both Twitter and Facebook, to belong to someone’s network and communicate with them, they have to approve you. The only thing that I don’t like about Facebook is that once you approve someone, anyone that is in that persons network of people gets to see your posts. You may not like all the people that that person has in their network of friends. However, that person can’t communicate with you unless you let them in your network. But they can still see what you post to other people, but they can’t answer that post. If you want to remove someone from your network of friends, you can do that as well.

I was told about it a couple of months ago and I don’t know how true it is, but the buzz has been going around that come July 10th. Facebook is going to charge you to have an account on their website. So just this morning, I signed up for the group on Facebook that is against this happening. Their goal I believe is to get 500,000 signatures. I believe they have over 200,000 right now. I won’t pay to belong to this website. There’s just too many other ways I can connect with people and don’t have to pay to do so. What about you devoted Facebook fans, will you pay to stay on this website?

I also belong to a huge group called “Gather.” This is probably where I get most of my e-mails from. If you don’t like receiving lots of e-mail, don’t join this group! This is a place to connect with people from all over the world and you sign up for each group that you are interested in. They have all sorts of categories to choose from. Also belonging to this group, you accumulate points that when you reach a certain number you can cash in for gift certificates from stores like Amazon. So if I’m going to “chat away,” I might as well get paid to do it! Don’t expect to become an overnight millionaire as it takes a long time to “gather” up those points!

Probably my very favorite website of all is “You Tube.” You can find just about anything on here from people showing their puppies and adult dogs movement shots to how to train your dog to “sit or stay.” There are entertaining videos, tutorials, educational videos, you name it. If it can be videotaped, you’ll probably find it here. I’ve seen lots of German Shepherd videos on this website. I just love it!

There are also many groups that are more specialized in their concept. I belong to a couple of those as well, but you know what I use them so rarely that I’ve even forgotten some of those that I’ve joined! One of the more informative sites is “E-How” which advertises…..”How to do just about anything.” It truly is an excellent website for learning about different things that you didn’t know how to do. Those that are good writers can write about the German Shepherd Dog pertaining to any subject you want. I belong to a couple of writer’s websites where I’ve written articles about our breed, but if you read this blog then you’ve already read them here.

And what about “Craig’s list?” I admit I don’t do too much surfing on this list. It’s got about a trillion people that hit this list a day……..well maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. You can list just about anything on here for sale or that you are giving away. There have been German Shepherds listed on here as well. Some people use this network to meet other people with similar interests. For instance, I know someone that used this media to meet some other people that had an interest in “jamming” (playing musical instruments) in maybe putting together a band. I’m a little nervous about this list as there have all ready been some serious criminal allegations brought up against some people that use this list. That’s why I like my other groups that I’ve already mentioned. I “meet” them through writing to them. I never have to take the next step of meeting them in person unless I want to.

Another large group of people is on 'My Space." I’ve never used this format. I think it’s geared more to the younger group of people and I’m sorry to say as of my last birthday, I just don’t seem to fit in to that category any longer. You can listen to people’s music on here as well as connect with friends and look for classmates. Speaking of classmates, there’s a social connection for that group as well. Nope, I don’t belong to that one either.

Then there are the e-mail lists that one can belong to when you are looking to communicate your interests. There a hundreds of e-mail lists on Yahoo that you can connect with. There are many different German Shepherd Dog lists on there as well. Just find one that suits your needs. Not all of these lists talk about the same things. Check out what their list was started for and see if you want to join in the chatter. There are other e-mail lists that are not on Yahoo also so look around and ask around. You’re sure to find the one best suited for your interests.

I have to admit, I enjoy connecting with many different people that have the same interests as I do, but I also find it ever fascinating to connect with those that can teach me many things that I never knew about before “meeting” them. On the flip side of the coin, there are also those that I’m glad that I’ll never meet, because “Wow oh wow” it’s truly a jungle out there and if you’re not careful, you’ll get eaten alive! I’ve communicated with some of those people that the “men in white coats” are still looking for!

Belonging to all of these social networks can be very time consuming, so it’s only advisable to join those that you think you’ll enjoy and have some time to communicate with others. There is no reason for anyone in the German Shepherd Dog community to be uninformed, uneducated about the breed, or lonely because of lack of friendship with others in the breed. As I said in the beginning of this article……just reach out and touch someone. Pretty soon, you’ll be a little social butterfly too!

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My rating: social networks: (3 – 4), e-mail lists: (4)

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