I am relatively active – I maintain a couple of blogs barryjogorman, bluereek), I post to facebook, twitter, linkedin and google+ (in that descending order of frequency). I scan some current content on all of these sites – generally at least once a day. I also send and receive significant volumes of email. I use sanebox to assist me in separating out the good from the bad in my email.
Have been listening to some chatter amongst friends, family, contacts which would suggest some increasing boredom amongst users of social networks. I experience this myself – large volumes of inane postings. Then I read this piece on Mashable and somehow it seems to ring true.
No more so that the phone, email, instant messaging, friends, colleagues – social networking content is a distraction when I am trying to complete a task. And if I have a lot of tasks to complete in a limited time then social media (and phone, email, instant messaging, friends, colleagues) take a back seat – in terms of both passive (reading) and active (commenting or content creation) participation.
I think it’s the old maxim – ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’. If you want to benefit from social networking then you need to accept that it will take time (out of your limited time). At the risk of mixing metaphors, should also reference ‘lunch is for wimps’ – perhaps there are many who would suggest, at least in a work context, ‘social media are for wimps’.
So what brings me back to social media – or what has brought me back in the recent past?
Linkedin is serving me well at present – in the context of staying in contact with a wide range of business contacts and former colleagues. Almost a CRM solution – but the real value is in the follow up interactions – be they phone calls, emails, meetings. And then I find myself capturing some of this interaction in apps such as evernote.
Facebook continues to attract me as a way to continue ‘casual interaction’ with a range of friends – many of whom I would not bump into physically on a day to day basis e.g. because I live in Ireland and they live in US, Australia, South Africa, UK, France, etc. In general I think the level of interaction on postings has gone down – and changes in the workings of facebook are well documented.
I think Twitter continues to provide me with the most relevant, interesting content – from people I choose to follow – grouped in lists. So, if I am interested in health informatics for now, I tend to drop in and out to check on tweets by those I have added to my health informatics list. And in general the content is current, well referenced and useful.
I like google+ – but I just do not seem to have the time to participate in another platform on a regular basis. I am very frustrated with moves to make it more difficult for all of us to participate in several social networks at the same time e.g. making it more difficult to cross post. But obviously the various providers have their own strategies for survival or world domination.
And blogging – like this: it really does take time. And sometimes you wonder about the value of time spent creating personal content in a space that is already very crowded. But, again, no free lunch and blogging is not for wimps.