Using social networks is a great way to find other beaders and get new ideas, help through creative blocks and quick help with bead techniques you may find difficult. This is a quick guide to finding like minded people and businesses on social network sites. One of the nice things about a lot of the businesses that use social network sites is that it's a fast way to find out what's new at their stores or to find out about new contests. Some sellers even offer special discounts to subscribers on those sites.
Starting with one of the biggest, Myspace.com, if you go the groups directory you can find a lot of beading groups, if you search just beads on people you can find some great bead stores that have Myspace pages, including one of my favorites, Shipwreck Beads, and you can find other beaders that way, and even narrow it by region so you can find some in the same area you live in.
Twitter is like a micro-blog. Everything you are doing in 140 characters or less. You can search topics to find other beaders, or you can search the word beads in users and find a lot of beaders and stores that way. Silver Rose Beads is just one of the sellers on there that offers a discount to people who subscribe to their Twitter feed. Once you create a page on Twitter, you can customize it with information about who you are, and your own background. When you're logged in, going to the main page shows you all the updates for the people you are watching, and you can set it up to get mobile alerts. Twitter is also used by a lot of people who sell on sites like Etsy to network and let people know about sales.
Facebook is another very popular site with a fan site for beads you can find other beaders on, as well as a lot of groups.
Going old school, you can search Yahoo Groups for some e-lists about beading. An email list can either be a newsletter like the one a lot of you get from me when I update here, but the email lists on Yahoo are groups of beaders that exchange ideas and show off new projects. You can set it up to either get the messages as the come in, or get them in a digest format once or a couple times a day.
Of course, there is always Bead-space, all beaders all the time!
These backgrounds tile and can be used on a lot of the sites mentioned. Just download them to your computer, on a lot of the sites, you can just upload them to sites under settings to set it as your background.
If you want to contact me on one of the social sites named, here are links to me on Twitter,Myspace and Facebook, plus there is a separate page on Facebook just for updates to my beading sites and printables page you can join here.