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I have finally reached a number of 5,ooo contacts on my facebook list.

5,000 people on my facebook list.

 It has taken me over 18 months to do this. It is not an impressive feat and anybody can do this. It however can be very useful if utilized properly, and you use facebook effectively. There are  many people who have done this and there are various ways it can be done. 1. You can join actual facebook groups where people want to be added by lots and lots of people. Some of thesegroups however tend to attract a lot of teenagers and others, so sometimes lots of pictures of them showing theirphysique or looks. 2. You can join other type of groups, post messages, get to “know” or be familiar with people there and then add each other. 3. Other methods. Now, let me make it clear and just to reassure you. Yes you are right, I do not know the vast majority of these 5,000 contacts. In fact I use the word “contacts” as opposed to friends to make it clear they are not friends in the normal sense of the word or give the impression that I know them personally. The vast majority of people on my list, also added me rather than me adding them. Is this because I am some awesome charismatic guy, with something “special” that attracts people to me. NO. There is no difference between me and you. As I said in a previous blog I knew someone who was 20, had never been to university, did not even have a proper job and got 5,000 “friends”/contacts in a far shorter period of time than me! Why did I add 5,000 people? 

 First of all when I say “add”, to repeat I did not actually add them as in make a request which they accepted, rather most people requested to add me, but however I did accept their offers, thus that’s why I mean by “add”. However that was only after I had initially added 1,000 people who were mainly mutual friends of others in online business networks. After the initial 1,000 lots of people started to make requests as I had lots of their mutual friends. I wanted to create this list so that I could utilize it for social media e.g. my blog. How useful has facebook been for you, Jahan? It hasn’t been that useful. I like to be honest, plain and not engage in false boasting. I believe that in the long term honesty is the best policy and I also believe that if you lie and give others falsehoods, you will in turn be lied to. One of the main reasons I wanted to add people to my facebook is so that they would read my blogs. Out of the 5,000 facebook contacts only a few people read the blog. However that is not important because one should never be desperate to be successful but happy and accepting of what comes. However I believe a large facebook list is very useful and I have not effectively harnessed it. The fault lies with me! 

Bill Gates, a man who got rid of his facebook account.

 Image source. Not everyone needs facebook. Not everyone is missing out on facebook. I would not like anyone to mistakenly believe it is the ultimate “cool” thing which everyone should have and are missing out if they don’t. However have a large list allows you to do a number of things.   1. Share interesting information or picture with lots of people.2. Learn and benefit from lots of people.3. Promote whatever you are doing. I have however not been able to do as much real networking and making real connections with people online as I would like to. Quality is more important than quantity. It is better to have a few hundred business contacts on facebook whom you have a more serious and meaningful “friendship”/relationship with, then thousands of random people. So facebook is good, however there are other forms of social media which are in some ways far more potent including: Youtube.Myspace, facebook allows you a maximum of 5,ooo “friends”, with Myspace you can add hundres of thousands.Blogging, a good blog can attract tens of thousands of visitors a day and can help you earn money.Twitter. 

To summarize, I have finally got 5,000 people on my facebook list. I do not know the huge majority personally, but I enjoy seeing their comments, funny pictures, wise quotes, advice and so on. It is not an amazing achievement and anyone can do it. If you have any questions please, please ask. Thanks for reading. – Jahan Choudhryjahan_choudhry@hotmail.co.uk

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In this article I am going to write about facebook and it’s use for business and networking, and at times I will be brutally straight as I want to be authentic. In the long run people appreciate authenticity than standardized feel-good things which lack depth, realism or truth.

Facebook was originally designed for university students to keep in touch with each other and has now even become immortalized in the form of a film, namely “the social network”. Facebook also clearly state when you use their service that you should only add people that you know and they are very responsive to complaints of spam, abuse or unwanted friend requests. I think they have been very successful in that. By and large I find facebook a very friendly place, and this is when you bear in mind that the internet has all sorts of websites, hate sites, bitter arguments in forums, harassment and even emails with death threats.

However adding people that you have not met personally but whom both of you as consenting adults wish to communicate with and share ideas and other things would generally be regarded as fine. In “antiquity”, in the days before the internet (yes some of you may remember those long gone days) people would have “penpals”, people whom they would write letters to in foreign countries and become friends, sometimes even going and staying in each other’s houses. If you do not wish to remain in contact with someone whom you added for networking purposes, you can simply ignore them, remove them or even block them. Ultimately you could issue a complaint about them, not that it would ever become that serious with people seeking to network online for business purposes.

Penpals, more common in "antiquity" (pre-internet age).

 Image source.

I, as of today have 4,749 facebook friends (i.e. contacts) and you can check this if you go on facebook and type my name “Jahan Choudhry” as my entire facebook is open to the public.

Wow…amazing Jahan!…No not really

What an amazing “achievement” you may think. No far from it. Anyone and I literally anyone can do it. There are a number of ways. One is to join user groups where people seek to network and add people after a private message introducing yourself and requesting you to be able to add them.

My message was this: “Hello {name}, I am networking with new people online and would like to connect. Nice to meet you. Thanks”

That was it. Most of the time people on facebook are friendly, especially those who are deliberately seeking to network for business purposes such as those in things such as network marketing and respond positively. If they chose not to accept, that was completely fine and their personal choice. Don’t harass people or spam! I knew someone who was 20 and did not have a job and accumulated the maximum number of 5,000 “friends” far quicker than I did. He had no business, no money, no university degree, so this is something anyone can do, providing you do it consistently. Anyone can do it. I met someone else who is a visiting university lecturer and was a senior City of London executive who has far less than the first person, but who has achieved far more in real life and who has achieved far more than me as well.

Facebook allows you to add a maximum of 5,000 people, Myspace allows you tens of thousands!

How useful have I found it?

Out of the nearly 5,000 people who have added me (yes most of them actually added me as they saw I had lots of mutual friends of theirs, but the first 1,000 were mainly people I added. After that it took off by itself with users adding me, which is far better and avoids any warnings from facebook about unwanted friend requests), I have only interacted (not met) with two people whom I found quite helpful. The fact is unless you can help someone in some way, or give them something even if it is something interesting to read, you won’t be able to do much.

The benefits however are:

– You can “interact” with more people in a shorter time, than physical networking and going to events.

– If people like something you do or did, they can share it with others at the press of a button unlike meeting in a real event.

– It is free unlike a lot of physical networking where you do have to pay.

– Once you meet one good person they can refer you to others.

– You can learn lots of interesting things from links shared by others.

– If you comment a lot people will start to notice you more.

Disadvantages:

– There is often more of a real connection with in person networking. This is only normal and I believe is right. Anyone can be “anything” online. So the trust factor is an issue.

– With in person networking people are more likely to give their time or help with someone whom they can see than some anonymous person typing behind a computer.

– People will only readily gravitate towards you or help you, if you can help them, or if you are established. Success attracts people.

You can also create facebook pages for your company and business. Facebook is just one social media out of many that can be utilized. I myself, personally have not taken it that seriously after I reached my target of 1,000 contacts whereupon people then started adding me themselves. However I could have done more, if I established meaningful connections with people. Establishing a meaningful connection with people is more important. It is better to have 300 business contacts whom you can mutually help and have a sort of “friendship” with than 5,000 people who are just pictures and a name.

So why did I even go on facebook in the first place?

The answer is so that I could share my blogs with people. How useful has that been? Well in my best day I got 19 visitors to my blog from facebook, that is from around 4,700 facebook contacts. It may not seem like a huge sum, but as they say pennies make pounds and pounds make millions.  In the future I will share more information on how to utilize facebook for those wishing to use it for networking. I spend the majority of my time online, on my blog or other things and not facebook which is a very much side-thing.

Facebook to blog conversion.

As I said in the beginning of my blog I am here to provide authenticity and not false glamourous stories of glitzy success, however facebook can definitely be utilized more effectively than I have chosen to do it.

– Jahan Choudhry

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We are now living in an age of rapid change, including in the way we conduct ourselves, with our friends and families. All of this impacts business and advertising. A while back one of my mentors spoke about the “Follow me” generation.

The “follow me” generation refers to the fact that whereas in the past you may have gone to high school or college with someone, or work and then lose track of them this is less likely now (unless you consciously wish to) and keeping in touch is made far easier with social media such as facebook and twitter.

This is in comparison to the past where years if not whole decades could be spent without seeing old high school, university or even work friends, colleagues or so-called “friends” (e.g. those whom you would prefer not to see but can’t actually avoid or blank) which would often be done in the form of a school or college reunion and so on.

There would be “yearbooks” in which photos of students of that year would be compiled in to one book. Some would even look at these photos, reminisce, engage in nostalgia (or perhaps not, as not all memories were pleasant) and possibly even wonder what ever happened to those faces which they could see in their year book. However something happened which made those faces in their year book less mysterious, a yearbook became replaced with “facebook”, enabling people to keep in touch far more easily and effectively.

The following video has yearbook pictures of Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Beyonce, Ben Stiller, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera, Demi Moore, Eminem, George Clooney, Gywneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Hilary Clinton, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Stefania Germanotta (Lady Gaga), Leonardo di Caprio, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and many other celebrities.

Year book photos of famous celebrities.

Source: http://www.awesomeblogisawesome.com/2011/07/hilarious-celebrity-yearbook-photos/

Now however a student of 14 will add friends to his facebook and keep in regular contact and know at the very least general details about his life, and most of us will know things such as if a person has got married or moved to another a country. The amount of detail that people give on facebook varies with some people having literally thousands of pictures of them and their friends on their accounts to those who only provide basic information and even those who are virtually non-active.

Some people do not believe in facebook or social media which is completely fine as it is their personal preference. The wider social reality is that the “follow me” generation has emerged and this has an impact on marketing and advertising, with people influenced by what they see and hear their friends do and buy. This is also part of a bigger overall process of increased communication, making the world smaller, the “global village” as if it were, a phrase used much more often a few years back. From now on the world may not be the same again, the “follow me” generation may become a permanent reality for those who chose to be part of it, and being able to influence one particular person may have an impact on their several, or dozen, or tens, or hundreds, or even thousands of followers on facebook and twitter. Celebrity endorsements have shown to be a very potent form of marketing and in this day and age when ordinary people can become “mini-celebrities” online in their own social circle or beyond their endorsements have far more power than before when they could only communicate one to one in person or over the phone, or a dozen people in a social gathering. The follow me generation has arrived.

– Jahan Choudhry

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For those who wish to contact me, or network with me or any thing else they can add me to their facebook account.

Facebook was of course started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and now has 500 million members and is the most popular website on the entire world wide web surpassing even Google. Barack Obama has a facebook account, so does Bill Gates. It can be used for social purposes but is also a very powerful business tool and part of social media marketing. In terms of increasing personal success it can relieve our mind from our own worries when we socialize online by looking at posts or photos of our facebook friends. It is a relaxing and positive activity.

 In terms of business success more and more executives are now realizing the power of facebook in terms of advertising and reaching new clients and customers and is not location-specific with access to members across the globe. Even President Obama is on facebook.

In terms of using this site, here is my advice for business professionals, those people who have normal jobs but wish to be financially successful and everyone in general.

Keeping in touch.

Facebook is good for keeping in touch with those friends of yours who do not see regularly be they old school friends, work colleagues from years back and so forth. You know where they are and what they are doing. In terms of your closer circle of friends who you know well,  facebook can be less important and you can send group emails or in-house jokes amongst each other and so on. I would advise people not to have intimate pictures on facebook or pictures of their loved ones. As a consultant and someone who works with successful people, one valuable piece of advice I can give you is never to engage in exhibitionism or trying to impress others purely for the sake of it. You will often ultimately regret it.

Real contact is the real thing.

The popularity of online social media is growing and growing.  However there is no substitute for real person-to-person contact in terms of socializing with friends or making an important  business relationship. In general not too much time should be spent behind the computer as this is not the way our bodies were designed to function and is not healthy. Our bodies are meant to go out and experience fresh air. Both fresh air and sunlight have of course health benefits with the sun providing certain vitamins such as vitamin D. 

 This is of course obvious common sense to many, however it needs to be said due to the number of hours people spend on their facebook account going through their hundreds of facebook friends.

I personally know certain millionaires and successful people that do not even have a facebook account. One famous example of this is Bill Gates who closed his account. A facebook account is by no means a must and nor should it be thought of in that way. However if used correctly and appropriately it is a good tool for keeping in touch and also for marketing for businesses. In this day and age for any business to flourish facebook, twitter and other sites can be utilized to great effect.

My facebook name is Jahan Choudhry, and my email is jahan_choudhry@hotmail.co.uk

– Jahan Choudhry

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