Its no secret that I’ve been accused of being an early adopter…its actually something in which I sort of pride myself. I see it as being a sort of risk-taker…you never know if that great new device or service is really going to prove itself worthy of what you just paid for it.
With social media, however, there’s a little less of a risk. I’ve been an early adopter, there, as well…while I joined the blogosphere somewhat late (I started this space in 2005, and it has evolved with me into something very different since then), I set up a Facebook profile when Facebook was new and all the rage (remember back when you had to be enrolled in an academic institution to set up an account?). Since then, I’ve jumped on some social media, and avoided others (Foursquare? No thanks.). I use social media for which I can realistically see a use or benefit, and sometimes begrudgingly hold onto social media profiles only because I can still see a benefit.
A few months ago, a blogger I follow regularly posted a list of the social media sites that he uses regularly, and asked his readers to comment with theirs. I did, and I was amazed at how many social media sites I use. Certainly, social media has changed our world, altered the ways in which we interact with each other forever, and guided us to new people with whom we can interact. My commenting on his post drove that fact home to me, and I thought it would be interesting for you, as well. So, just for fun and a break from my usual blogging fare, I thought I’d do something similar. Here are the social media sites I use, and how (or why) I use them.
Facebook. I have a personal Facebook profile, and I keep it locked down pretty tightly. This blog, of course, also has a Facebook page. Personally, I’m over Facebook. As its privacy thresh hold becomes lower, and as it leaves its niche to attempt to do everything (first it attempted to copy Twitter with streams of status updates, now it offers video chat…really??), I find myself posting to Facebook very sparingly, and use my personal account only because it is the easiest way in which to contact several of my friends (and, perhaps for sentimental reasons, as well).
Twitter. I love Twitter. I love the people I meet there from various backgrounds and disciplines, I love the real-time nature of it, I love the casual conversations that are sparked there. I love the interesting links that I discover that I otherwise wouldn’t, and the absolutely hysterical humor that can brighten my day. If all you ever do is tweet about the meetings you go to or how when you’re talking on your iPhone, I won’t follow you. Give me a stream full of interesting links or quips, and my attention is yours.
Tumblr is a recent venue for me, but I’ve already met fascinating people. I love the simplicity of Tumblr, how its not about how many people you follow, and how it is full of great art, beautiful images, and thought-provoking quotes. Tumblr receives far more of my time than Facebook, and I’ve turned it into sort of a collection of the things that inspire me to write, both here and elsewhere.
Google+ is the site that I truly wish would replace Facebook, and is perfectly capable of doing so. Because my blogging activities are tied into my Google profile, this one is important to me. However, while I’m connected to a relatively large number of family and friends there, not many of them use Google+ regularly, so my activity there is unfortunately limited until everyone recognizes how superior it is to Facebook. Of course, I have a YouTube account associated with this, but use it rarely. I aggregate my RSS feeds with Google Reader, and share interesting posts occasionally that way, as well.
LinkedIn is valuable for keeping in touch with present and former colleagues. I’m careful about my connections there, and its one of those sites I have a feeling will become much more useful in the future, so I’m keeping it around.
Goodreads is where I keep track of my voracious reading appetite, and chat about good books with good friends. I’ve began to connect more and more with other writers that I’ve met on Twitter, there, and I’ll eventually set up an author page…I just haven’t gotten around to that, yet (once I finish the work-in-progress, I think).
Delicious was a network I joined several years ago. Its one of those profiles that you forget you have until there’s a link to a site that you really need to store somewhere for future reference, and keep it with other similar links, and then suddenly Delicious is the most valuable profile you have. I don’t use the social aspect of Delicious as much…its a repository for my bookmarks.
Instapaper is something I don’t know how I survived without. Its simply a place to put all of those stories and articles and posts that you know you want to read, but just don’t have time to read at the moment you find them. Instapaper is amazing!
Of course, other sites have come and gone, but this is quite enough to manage, don’t you think? When I consider how integral these sites have become to my daily routine, I’m quite amazed.
What social media do you use on a regular basis? How has it impacted your life, for better or worse?
Photo Attribution: ivanpw