We all know the benefits of networking are obvious, so why are we neglecting it?
Are you scared about meeting new people in your industry? Do you spend a fortune to attend conferences and trade shows? Or do you waste a lot of time with travel and setting up your computer to work properly?
If you’re sick of making compromises, read on.
Get in touch using Airtime
Airtime allows you to talk to strangers and friends on Facebook via video chat without leaving your home office.
You can meet new people on the platform based on:
- where you live
- your interests
- their relationships with your friends.
The information is extracted from your Facebook profile.
The best part of all this is you don’t have to acquire strangers’ permission in advance to talk to them, which is typically common when you try accomplishing this feat with Skype or even on Google+ Hangouts. Also, you won’t find any random dudes doing weird stuff (remember Chatroulette?). I mean, who really wants to expose their Facebook identities while doing that?
If you’re concerned about Airtime’s credibility, let’s start with its leaders. Sean Parker was founding president of Facebook and co-founder of Napster, and Shawn Fanning, was co-founder of Napster. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, Jim Carey, and Martha Stewart checked Airtime out on its launch day.
Now that you’re excited, let’s learn how you can use Airtime to connect with readers and others in your blog’s niche.
Before logging onto Airtime.com, you will need the following:
- A compatible web browser: For simplicity, I suggest using Google Chrome.
- A Facebook account: For obvious reasons.
- A webcam that works with Airtime: Most laptop cameras should work without problems. Plug-in webcams may have problems. See the steps below to find out if yours does.
Step 1: Log into Airtime.com
A simple process—just visit Airtime.com and follow the launch process. You will need to press some buttons to authorize certain permission settings in Airtime’s login process. These are required in order for your camera to work properly.
Step 2: Choose your target
You will see this splash screen after successfully configuring your webcam.
I blacked out my Facebook contacts to protect their privacy here. If you want to talk to your existing Facebook or Airtime contacts, you can click on a name on the right-hand panel and explore for yourself.
But since you’re most likely interested in discovering industry colleagues, let’s look at that. You have two ways to accomplish this goal.
The first way involves finding users with a common interest to talk to (as indicated by the blue rectangle). Then, click the Talk to Someone button.
This is the easiest way because:
- By checking the Near option, you can find people located close to you. If I live in Vancouver, Canada, I’m more likely to be connected to someone in, let’s say, New York City than New Delhi, India.
- By checking the Common Interests option, you can specify multiple interests to find like-minded people. For example, if you read ProBlogger, your search won’t just be limited to this publication. You likely read Copyblogger, Think Traffic, Social Triggers, SEOmoz, and Blog Tyrant regularly. You may have even liked them on Facebook.
- By checking the Friends of Friends option, you increase your chances of talking to a second-degree connection rather than the third, fourth, fifth, etc.
Let’s face it, life is already complex enough as it is. Enabling these options simplifies your Airtime experience and helps you home in on the right readers and industry contacts.
The second option involves finding users with a specific common interest. This is a great feature, but I do not recommend this method at the moment. Airtime does not have enough simultaneous users for you to find strangers with a specific common interest in a reasonable timeframe. Still, let’s take a look at how to do this just in case you want to play around.