I have 400 Facebook friends: What I've learned

On July 3, I finally succumbed and joined the movement that is Facebook. Six weeks later, I have 400 “friends” – yeah I am that popular.

But, from when I first started thinking of giving into the social networking movement back in March, I took the decision way too seriously – wanting it to benefit me professionally, rather than become a waste of time. I wanted to improve my name searchability online – so employers, friends and stalkers can find the right Christopher Wink.

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A recent addition to Couch Surfing

I HAVE GIVEN IN ON ANOTHER HOLDOUT OF MINE, THIS one on CouchSurfing.com, after catching a lot of flak for recently joining the Facebook, having avoided it throughout university.

One signs up, offers up a couch or a place to sleep in exchange for the same treatment elsewhere. Avoid hotels and even hostels and get a local view of wherever you’re visiting. The most frequent concern is one with safety, and, like I’ve seen with hitchhiking, there is some truth to it, but, more often, there is the opportunity for cheap travel and profound interaction.

In preparation for future travels on a limited income, I thought now was the time to finally get on board with another social networking device online.

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The end is here: Christopher Wink joined Facebook

Today, nearly four years after it launched, I have joined Facebook.

The site itself launched in September 2004, and during that summer, while I readied to begin what would be a transcendent tenure at Temple University in Philadelphia, founder Mark Zuckerberg was watching his baby explode. From its Harvard roots, through other Boston and Ivy League universities to Temple and much of the rest.

I can remember first hearing about it in late August 2004, on a porch of my college dormitory. From the very start I ignored it.

I can remember hearing it roll out to other, smaller universities and then excitement because friends from community colleges could join – with institution e-mail addresses. I continued to ignore it.

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Chris Wink: what's in a name?

In today's climate, your name is your brand. Own it - or else become Mark.
In today's climate, your name is your brand. So own it - or become Mark.

The Internet is changing what it means to have a name.

I have already posted that this very blog that so begins the great push to lay claim to Web real estate, the most valuable of which lies on your name.

Your marketability, your presence, particularly as employers, friends and intimates increasingly go to Google or other search engines to better understand or know about us, will only become more dependent on your space online.

Chris Wink is original enough name that I cherish it, but I am hardly alone. Take a google search of my name and you see others, particularly, as previously posted, the founder of the Blue Man Group. But it goes deeper. Beyond confusion, you can become guilty by name association. Today, a friend forwarded me something, news from abroad that is accessible now as only a local paper was as recent as 15 years ago.

A namesake of mine arrested for a few thousands of dollars worth of vandalism. It’s a small enough a crime to warrant an employer to confuse his actions with my own.

A 17-year old youth has been arrested after about £5,000 damage was estimated that could have been caused in another school break-in.Police named Christopher Wink as having been charged with burglary at Bayside School between Sunday and Monday. “Entry was forcibly gained,” said a Police spokesman.

It is only another reminder that I need to make apparent who I am, branding my own name as I would any other product.

Why I am everywhere online and you should be, too

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Understand, I take relish in few things as much as I do in being an old head, knowing little about technology, what is new and fresh.

The trouble is that I am modestly pursuing a career in media. I graduate from Temple University in less than three months, with no job, little direction, and few goals. My chances for success just got smaller.

So, it was in early December 2007, with my fears and worries just beginning to rumble, that I launched this Web site. It was, as I first described it, a modest foot print in what, I assumed, would someday require a great deal more structure. The world’s dependent on the Internet is not lessening. This is the best, most effective way to market oneself.

I wasn’t going to blog. I promised myself I wasn’t going to blog. But then, there wasn’t much chance I could keep steady readership to develop a community (hello!) but also to increase my searchability on Google, (currently tops for “christopher wink” and second for “chris wink“) -It doesn’t help that someone of quasi-fame shares my name, as Chris Wink is the founder of the Blue Man Group.

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