I made a subtle change to my news and social networking habits at the start of the year. I disconnected my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also disabled the auto posting from this blog and now choose where to share my posts. I did leave the auto update feature from YouTube on.
Why did I make these changes? Simply to try to separate my worlds a bit and to give me greater control over how I update. This blog however, seems to be my lifestreaming site where politics, business, me, and NJ all come together. I know it still seems a little eclectic but that's how this site has been from Day 1. So here's how I use social networking tools these days....
- Twitter - I use this for sharing articles and Tweets that I like and for getting breaking news from people I follow. I don't spend a ton of time there and unfortunately for Twitter unless you are there when the Tweets come through I don't find a lot of utility in it (kind of like Radio). Also, I'm not following a lot of people back these days unless I know you, or you are from NJ, or I found your Tweets unique. I'm quite content to hang out around 750 followers.
- LinkedIn - My business online Rolodex. I don't expect much interaction there unless I'm looking for a job and I wouldn't expect much from me other than an introduction.
- Facebook - I find a lot more social interaction here and unlike Twitter, I will go back in time to see my friend's updates and posts. I do check in a few times per day but don't keep it running in the background because it turns into a huge time suck. Also, I will only Friend you if I, you guessed it, actually know you. If not, you can follow me on Twitter or find me on LinkedIn.
- Google Reader - I check this in the morning and the afternoon. Believe it or not I find a lot of utility in RSS Feeds. Google Reader reminds me of Magazines; I can check in whenever I want and read some good commentary even if it is a bit dated. Remember I probably already saw fast breaking news information via Twitter or Google News so Google Reader has utility for me.
- Google News - I flip through this whenever I need some more news updates and I especially like the way Google tries to customize news to me.
- YouTube - really just a depository for videos. I don't check it to see which videos are popular and often I'm directed to a video based on 1,3,4, and 5 above.
- Podcasts - I love listening to podcasts while working and I have a few (WSJ Today, Twit and Twig, Buzz Out Loud, Left, Right and Center) that I regularly listen to.
- My Blog - you'll notice that I make my own longer posts 1-2 times per week and the rest of the posts are articles that I read online and reposted to my site with short commentary. This is kind of like my own version of Twitter but without the 140 character limitation.
Anyway, you can see that I don't think Twitter is the end all to be all. In fact, I think it is a little on the passive side and you have to be engaged when the Tweets come through otherwise, you miss it unless you want to dig back in time.
Social Networking is still fragmented, but I think maintaining some separation seems to work for me and that's why I thought a little explanation as to how I use them would be useful to you. And, if you don't get a Facebook response from me, don't be offended but look me up elsewhere.
That's how I use social networking tools these days. However, feel free to let me know how you use social networking tools today, because I'd be very interested.