I am bloody rubbish at ‘Social Media’ which encompasses Twitter, Facebook, etc, etc, ad infintum. While munching my lunch today I think I figured out why.


Most of my personal interactions are built up through a ‘Hello’, introduction then a conversation. Whereas from an online point of view, to me, it’s very much like walking up to a group of strangers in a bar, eavesdropping on what’s being said and then blurting out your own comment or opinion. I wouldn’t dream of doing that in real life so why do it online? I suppose you have the argument that it’s online and everybody shares. But then you have the other side of the coin when people comment about Trolls and start insisting that ‘They wouldn’t do that in real life so why online?

Bit of double standards there I think. Or maybe it’s just me, and I’m getting old :) The cultural equivalent of ‘Whats that infernal pop music noise?”

But dammit, I’m not giving up on manners

Social Networking – there’s got to be separation

Let me count up the number of accounts and how I use them. May be an interesting thing to look back on.

  • Twitter : two accounts
  • Facebook : one account
  • Google+ : one account
  • Tumblr : two accounts – I know not why…
  • Posterous : one account
  • Linkedin : one account
  • Bogs : two accounts self-hosted
  • Various : I forget most of these to be honest, but the usual suspects

One of my main problems with all these services is that there is a massive push to integrate them all into one personality, one identity if you will. I just can’t do that. Ask yourself a question:

“Do you say anything and everything that is on your mind to everyone you meet regardless of circumstance?”

If you answered ‘No’ then I’d argue that you have a similar issue to me. I don’t want my full identity spread and linked across the internet. I like to keep my personal and professional life separate. It’s called having boundaries – a very European thing but there you go. So here are some thoughts on how I use each service and some of the problems I have with them.

Twitter – I love it for the brevity. It’s easy to record a thought. I used to do that in diaries I kept with me.  Old School pen and paper. They weren’t expansive entries à la Mr Pepys but it was just a little thought or note on what was happening. I’m most definitely a ‘listener’ on Twitter and use it for myself really.  I also use Thinkup to archive my tweets to my local server. The Equivalent of stuffing an old diary in a box for years to come!

Facebook – I loathe Facebook if I’m honest. But I don’t live near any of my family. They like to use it so it’s handy for keeping in touch with what’s going on. I have very few people on this list that aren’t family, people I would consider friends and not acquaintances – I don’t accept friends requests unless I’ve known the person for a good few years … and like them :) I just can’t get my head around people who accept Friend requests from anybody and everybody.  again it’s about boundaries.

Google+ – I like it. I just can’t integrate it into anything I do right now. It’s on;y a web front-end so I can’t pull an RSS feed (unless I’m missing something) and I’m not keeping a tab open just to see what’s going on. I don’t know what to post there either. My personal website is just full of photo’s right now (and needs an overhaul). I could create a new Google+ account and link this site to it – but not sure at all why I would want to do that right now. I’ll figure something out.

Tumblr/Posterous – Who doesn’t have a Tumblr account? ;) I created these on a whim as I was running my personal site on a hosted service for a bit, and that went down (which is why I went back to self-hosted). I have no idea what I’ll do with these.  Travel updates probably – but most of those short posts when bored at an airport are going to Facebook at the moment.

LinkedIn – Purely business. Purely professional. Great service. Does what you need it to do and nothing more. Integrating my Twitter or Facebook accounts? You’ve got to be joking….

Blogs – Oh my poor blogs. I had a blog for many, many years. Then went back into the Corporate World at a time when the internet and blogging were still viewed with distrust. The equivalent of Neanderthal man poking a rock with a stick. It was considered dangerous to have a personal blog at that time (can you tell I don’t work at Microsoft?) so it was the safe course to delete the entire thing and wipe it’s existence off the Net. Strangely that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I have a personal blog which is horribly neglected and I ended up turning it into a photo gallery (must think on that) and this blog which has gone through a number of iterations. I like blogging though. Your writing improves when you do it, but I did suffer from burn out. Writing thousands of words a day at work doesn’t lend itself to inspiration when you get home from the office!

Various – Qwiki, Quora, Percolate, etc, etc, etc. Just a few of the services i can remember right now. You sign up to see if they will add anything new but I haven’t seen anything yet that is sticky enough to keep me there.