[Following is an excerpt from the Sociallogical Course Understanding Social Business, beta launched June 27]

How do you become friends with someone you've never met? How do you become interested in a discussion with someone whose background you know nothing about?

In the physical world we have a variety of sources of information such as appearance, body language, speaking style, place of meeting etc. to help us get a sense of who a person is as we gather first impressions and begin a relationship. Online we have a profile/bio.

Profiles Aren't New

Even in the days of pen pals, we would first identify ourselves, similar to a profile. We may have even sent a picture of ourselves. But sharing a sense of who we are with the person we want to socialize with has always been an essential requirement for human relationships.

And it is human relationships we are referring to when we use the word "social".

The Power Behind Social Online

The profile is the power behind social because it gives context to the comments, ideas, opinions, and information that is shared. Your profile will often get referred to and it will be recognized at a glance with the emotions and attributes of a brand.

It is vitally important. It's the only thing that another person online has to base their relationship with you on.