As you know, MyByte is a social network focused on people active in the South African ICT sector. Our goal is to help you connect and network with fellow colleagues, and as such we have loaded MyByte with massive features to make this easier.
If you are new to social media, or online social networks, things might get a little overwhelming at first. We have prepared this handy introductory guide to help you find your feet � and get the most out of MyByte�s potential.
Your profile is the essence of your presence on the network. You should ensure it is complete, and up to date with the most current information. A photo really helps, and you should upload one as soon as possible to give your profile credibility, and appeal.
You can edit your profile at any time by logging in >> Profile >> Edit.
If you click on the �Profile� in the navigation bar, you will be taken to your profile page. It is always a good idea to visit your profile page regularly to ensure that it represents you faithfully!
The main point of a social network � is to network! MyByte gives you a great opportunity to connect with people with whom you have shared interests. Here are some tips on how to find the right people to connect with on MyByte:
Click on the �Find Colleagues� in the main navigation bar, and enter the details of your webmail service. It is perfectly safe � we do not store or have any access to your passwords. MyByte will show you a list of colleagues with whom you already have an email connection and who are already members on MyByte. Simply add them as your MyByte colleagues, and you have an instant MyByte network!
For those colleagues with whom you have an email connection but who are not on MyByte, please invite them to join. To do so easily, click on the Invite tab in the navigation bar, and follow the instructions. Once your invitees sign up, you will be instantly connected to them.
Read the Blogs and Forums (both the main content and the replies). Click on the Member name of any user whose comments resonate with you, and invite them to connect with you.
Pay attention to the members of your Groups. There are bound to be plenty of people with whom you will have good reason to connect. Don�t be shy � everyone wants to grow their network.
Writing blogs is a great and easy way to draw attention to yourself. You are bound to have opinions on technology topics, and by posting them on MyByte you will create a following of other members who will read, comment and promote your content.
Create a blog by going to My Tools >> More >> Blogs. Then choose to �compose New Entry� and start writing the blog post. There is a very good built in editor that allows you to format the text.
Writing blogs is not complex, and there are very few rules beyond rational and respectful conduct. Just in case you are new to blogs, here are some pointers on how to get started:
An Intro to Blogging
1. A blog is a conversation starter.
When you write a blog, you are starting a conversation. Unlike a magazine's column, where your only form of feedback is a letter to the editor, blogs offer the reader an immediate power of response. That is what makes them so great: they really are conversation starters. You should be aware that your involvement with the blog post is not over when you click the "Submit" button. You should be prepared to converse with your readers in the comments.
2. A blog can reflect your opinion on a topic, pose a question to your readers, or inform.
There are no rules as to what you can write about in a blog post. Since MyByte is a community focused on the ICT sector, we would certainly prefer that you post on this topic. But all work and no play made Jack a dull boy, so a bit of light hearted fun is always welcome! Otherwise, feel free to write about your observation of industry trends, tips for better performance, ask questions or opinions (Although you might prefer to use the forum for this) or simply draw your readers' attention to topical issues.
3. A blog post is written in the first person, and has to be original!
Although there are no rules as to what you can write about, there are certainly rules as to how you write it. Please be respectful and non-defamatory. Preserve privacy issues (your colleagues', your company�s and your own). When quoting or using stats, please try to provide a link to the source. Under no circumstances should you "cut-and-paste" full length content, even if you attribute it fully (short paragraphs are OK to quote within longer content, or you can summarize the content in your own words).
4. Don't take responses personally.
The only thing you should not tolerate is indifference. Otherwise, expect that your readers can get very worked up about your opinions, and that they might not be very respectful in objecting to them. I suggest you stand your ground, and maintain a cool head in these circumstances. Agree to disagree.
5. Always make any changes transparent.
If you submit a blog post and then later find that it has some incorrect information, or you wish to amend something, you should never simply delete it. Rather, cross out the "old" text, and put the new text straight after, and perhaps acknowledge the reason for the change. For example:
"The French Revolution broke out in 1879" would become "the French Revolution broke out in 1879, 1789� (thanks Richard for pointing out the error)"
6. Keep it 'Short and Sweet'
There are no restrictions on how long a blog post can be, but it really shouldn't be more than two monitors heights long.
7. It's a blog, not an ad
There are plenty of companies that use blogs as (an excellent) marketing tool. There is nothing wrong with that. But be careful of posting a blatant advetorial - it will be seen as spam and will not be appreciated by your readers. Rather, offer value in the content, and follow up with a one or two line sales pitch if necessary.
For example, I could mention at the end of this blog that if you are interested in learning more about the art of blogging, I will be teaching a course on the subject at one of the leading advertising colleges next month. (Which is true, by the way!).
8. Use the Text Editor.
The text editor provided on MyByte allows you to perform most editing tasks, including cross-outs (fourth option from left), indents for quotes, links and even image uploads.
9. Read other blogs for inspiration and clarification!
If you would like to ask more questions about blog posting, why not leave them in the comments below? I will answer to the best of my ability (and I encourage others to do so too).
Groups bring people who share a single common interest together. Groups can focus on companies, sectors, issues or offline networks. Explore the Groups available by clicking on �Groups� in the navigation bar, and join those that appeal to you.
Once your membership has been approved (some approvals are automatic, some not) you will be able to read and post discussions, and interact with other Group members. You can also invite other colleagues who you think might benefit from the Group.
The heart and core of MyByte are the forums. Here you get to ask questions and receive answers from members with whom you might otherwise never interact. You will be amazed at the level and range of expertise to which you suddenly have access.
Feel free to pose questions around any ICT topic, and watch the answers flow in. Also, don�t forget that you should also give back: when a topic or question comes up that you can give relevant feedback to, please do!
It is a good idea to check the Forums regularly. You will quickly find new colleagues and market your area of expertise subtly.
Activity Bytes are our way of rewarding you for being an active member of MyByte. You get Bytes for plenty of various activities (such as submitting a blog post, or a comment). The top Bytes earners are promoted on the site, and are entered into regular competitions.
Earning Bytes is automatic: you do not have to sign up for this feature. You can check your Bytes balance, as well as your ranking relevant to other MyByte members by going to My Tools>> Bytes.
Polls are a great way to run a mini-focus group. You can create your own poll, and submit it to the site so that other members can vote on it. Members can also leave comments, giving you even more insight. Polls are promoted on the home page, and you can promote them directly to your network as well.
If your company is planning to host an event, then you can create an Event listing on MyByte and promote it to all MyByte members (you can also keep the Event more private, if you wish).
To create an event, go to My Tools>> Events. You will be asked to fill in the Event description as well as dates and privacy settings. After the Event is created, you can start inviting people directly. They will be able to RSVP and comment directly on the Event�s page.
You can customize MyByte to suit your needs by clicking on the �Settings� tab in the navigation bar.
Email settings: You can specify which notifications should be emailed to you. For example, you might want to be notified every time someone adds you as a colleague, but not every time someone comments on your poll.
Privacy: You can set how your profile is displayed on MyByte, and to whom.
Password: You can change your password if you feel your security has been compromised.
If you have any questions or problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you find value in staying active on MyByte, and we look forward to interacting with you on South Africa�s premier network for technology people!