Social Networking – there’s got to be separation

Aug 23 2011 Published by under Opinion

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.

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