I have a simple idea that will allow you to kickstart the process of establishing yourself as a mighty introvert. You will make new contacts, magnify the power of your reputation immensely, and establish yourself as a credible person in this wired world. I can't think of a better way to do it. I'm in the process of doing it right now.
Use social bookmarking to become a social media powerhouse
Be warned - this is a simple idea but it can take a lot of hard work and a lot of elapsed time to achieve. However, you can use social bookmarking to build your own network of contacts and a good reputation without meeting anyone face-to-face and you can do it at your own pace.
This is a very simple idea. It's so simple that it might seem incredibly obvious to many readers, but sometimes it's important to state the obvious over and over again.
So, here it is.
Here we go.
1) Get a social bookmarking site account - almost any site will do. StumbleUpon is particularly good for this. Del.icio.us might be good for this purpose as well. Other sites are worth a try, but these two are the biggest.
2) Learn how to use the social bookmarking site. Read any or all documentation about the site and its functions. Search through the Web for user-written guides and learn the secrets.
3) Scour the Web for good content. Use any/all resources, like search engines, social news websites, on-line newspapers and magazines, anything. Find good content. I mean REALLY good content. You want to find the kind of content, regardless of subject or field, that meets your own discriminating tastes.
4) Start bookmarking this content with smart, informative bookmarks. Use social bookmarking to its fullest advantage, including valuable notes, smart keywords or tags, and ratings.
5) Find out who else is bookmarking this content. Both Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon will tell you which users saved the same bookmarks.
6) Add these other users to your Friends list within the application.
7) Review your new Friend's bookmarks and bookmark the good ones yourself. If you find good content that they've saved with bookmarks, you need to bookmark it as well, taking all of the same care and steps that you followed in step 4.
8) If the user has public contact information as part of their user profile (both Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon have this functionality), contact them. No personal contact or phone calls are required here! Send them a short note saying that you've Friended them and you like their bookmarks. Ask them if you can send them information about websites that you think they might be interested in viewing. Offer to review and bookmark anything they send to you. You must be sincere and honestly commit to doing this or else it won't work.
9) Respect the wishes of your fellow bookmarker when they respond back to you. If they accept your offer, you're in business and your network is now starting to expand. If they don't accept, just move on to the next person and don't bother this person again. If they contact you in the future when you're famous and powerful, you can decide whether to accept their offer or not!
10) Keep repeating steps 3 - 9 at a rate that you are comfortable maintaining. Don't kid yourself - this can involve a lot of time and effort because you're going to have to maintain existing contacts while building new ones.
Now, here's the not-so-secret 11th step that really provides power.
Are you ready?
Here it is:
11) Be prepared for the magnifying effect of social bookmarking. People will eventually start approaching you as you establish yourself as a connoiseur and maven of good content.
I haven't followed all of these rules with great diligence, but in my five months of putting some effort into StumbleUpon, I'm starting to find that people are starting to add me to their Friends list. Right now it probably averages one new person a day. I expect this to grow over time.
I'll report on my progress on a regular basis. However, I'm convinced that following these ten steps is virtually foolproof.
You should give it a try. Tell me and the rest of the readers of The Mighty Introvert about your successes, failure, or questions. Feel free to send a copy of this post, and its source (http://www.themightyintrovert.blogspot.com), to anyone who you think could take advantage of this method.
If you want to test this method out on me, you'll find my user profile at the following locations:
markdykeman at Del.icio.us
markdykeman at StumbleUpon
Good luck and best wishes!