People often ask me where I find some of the info that I pass along. My number one source is Google Alerts, but I try to participate in as many social networks as I can too. People are always sharing interesting things that I can inevitably pass along.
But time being what it is (namely limited) and information being what it is (not always reliable or relevant), I’ve learned to focus my energies this past year on quality social networks rather than quantity of them.
Below is a list of the social networks where I’ve found the best info, amazing people who are eager to help and happy to make new friends, and that are easy to use. If you want to get even more connected in the paranormal community, I highly recommend getting social on these networks if you aren’t already.
I forget to interact on this one more, but this is a neat place to meet paranormal people. I like all the different groups available to join and that they have an Events tab. The Polls are often fun too. And, I try to avoid the Arcade tab because it’s full of games. I’m one of those who has trouble pulling myself away to do what needs to be done if I start playing games so…it’s maybe why I don’t interact here more. Too much temptation!
But it is a great place to meet up with paranormal invesitgators and fans of shows. They also utilize a couple of other social networks to keep everyone in the loop and connected, such as:
Facebook – MyPara
Twitter – MyPara
This is a social network similar to MyPara, but over the last year I’ve watched Chuck Manning do a fabulous job grooming it to have it’s own vibe. Whether you’re a member of a paranormal investigation team, a paranormal blogger, or just someone with an interest in the field, GPN is a great gathering place. People can contribute blogs, share photos and videos, participate in forums, and much more.
GPN also utilizes other social networks to promote itself as well as its members. Here’s where else you can follow them:
Twitter – @gparanormal
Facebook – Global Paranormal Network
MySpace – Global Paranormal
I didn’t exactly get how to use StumbleUpon until Javier from GhostTheory and Nathan from A State of Mind helped me understand it better. This is one of the ones I could spend hours on because there is SO much information to find (or “stumble upon” as the lingo goes), and it inevitably leads to finding new people. But it’s also a great way to share info and sort of “store” links so you’ll always have them. (I never know when I might want to refer back to something, so for me this is one of my most favorite things about StumbleUpon.)
I really don’t know if Facebook should be number 2 or number 1. It’s really more of a tie between it and Twitter. Both are simply excellent for interacting with members of the paranormal community. Pretty much anyone with a paranormal show, group, or blog has a Facebook page and Twitter account. I think my favorite features are the Favorite Pages (both collecting them on HJ’s page as well as seeing the ones on other pages) and being able to tag people in wall posts. (Which you couldn’t always do. It was one of FB’s better improvements.) And of course comments and the “like” button. What great inventions! How did I ever socialize before without them?
I think I’m partial to Twitter and decided to put it at number one because it has been very good to me. I’ve found all kinds of extremely nice people who I’ve become friends with over the past year. I’ve had many interesting conversations, landed a few writing gigs from it, and learned of some neat books and movies thanks to it. Heck, I’ve even learned of a couple of new-to-me haunted places! And there’s something about being forced to say something in 140 characters that leads to some mighty entertaining Tweets amidst the information being shared. Plus, it’s got one of the largest, most passionate, and most active user bases among all the paranormal social networks. So, it may actually be really more tied with Facebook (because it has a large user group too and there are tons of paranormal-related groups and pages) but Twitter ranks first with me.
Where do you social network? Make sure to friend Haunt Jaunts if you use any of the above and haven’t already.