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Social Media

A 64 post collection


​Where I don’t publish

 •  Filed under Posts, Writing, Social Media

Last week I linked to Manton Reece’s dedication to staying the course for Micro.blog and the potential of blog-focused technologies when it comes to going up against the likes of Facebook.

There’s simply too many places to publish to these days and unless you have it automated or other people doing it for you (chance would be a fine thing), it can become overwhelming trying to post everywhere.

Here’s a few places where I don’t publish and why.

LinkedIn

I’ve have a chequered past with LinkedIn in much the same way as I have had with Twitter. It’s one of those things that is necessary to have but not always an enjoyable experience.

LinkedIn is a social network for the work-place but in truth it’s more akin to a hunting ground for recruitment agencies keen to place anyone they deem to be suitable for one of their roles. Okay, that might be slightly biased by my experience of LinkedIn but it’s the experience that I have had and I’m sure many others have to.

I’m sure it’s a great place for building your career’s network but I’ve yet to see the value in LinkedIn as instead of an introduction in person, through a phone call or even by email.

Anyway, the reason that I don’t post to LinkedIn or promote my content there is because I don’t have the time to read what other people are posting there. So if I don’t have the time to read what others are posting then why would others read what I am posting?

My usual routine with LinkedIn is that I log in, check my messages, check the notifications and then log back out again. I don’t read my timeline, look for others to connect with or anything else that LinkedIn has to offer.

It’s just not the place where I want to publish to. I could but I’m of the opinion that there’s many more people who use LinkedIn in the same way as I do and therefore it’s not the ideal place to share content.

Google+

This one’s easy. I don’t have a Google account.

There’s another reason though. I can’t remember the last time that I clicked a link that took me to a Google+ account or post. In fact I couldn’t even tell you what Google+ looks like as an interface. Is it even still a Google product?

When a social network like this doesn’t even trigger a visual representation of what it looks like then it’s clear that it’s no longer worth publishing to.

Facebook

Want to hear a secret?

I had a Facebook account for a few months there. Shocking I know. Mr “I don’t have a Facebook account” finally succumbed. Well, for a few months anyway.

I used it so that Ethan could get news and updates from his club’s junior section through their Facebook group. Now though my account has been de-activated and Ethan has his own account and manages this for himself while adhering to a few house rules on using Facebook.

The reason that I don’t share on Facebook is that I see Facebook as a time sink that I don’t want to cater to. Yes I’ve had an for few months but it came with a few restrictions. I didn’t hand over my phone number, I used a different email address for it and I didn’t install it on my phone, I put it on an iPad where it doesn’t ask for your phone number.

Once the usual email address and phone number goes in then the floodgates open. Notifications for friend suggestions, friend requests and who knows what else. I can do without that kind of hassle.

Medium

I’ve added Medium to the list of places that I don’t share content to as it has become something similar to Facebook. While Facebook is the place for sharing updates with family and friends, Medium has become the place to share your writing.

I’ve toyed with publishing content to Medium a few times, but while I have my own web site that I write for, I don’t see the point in having a separate channel on another network for something that I already do on my own.


What it boils down to though for me is time and energy. Where can I share content without spending too much time and energy sharing that content?

I share my thoughts and other junk here on the blog because I can control it and I also own the domain.

It’s also easy to manage the performance of what I post. I use Gauges to track traffic to the blog and it gives two metrics that are all I need. Page views and visitors.

Micro.blog and Twitter are two other places where I like to share content as it’s easy to share the content to them and I can automate the posting between the two.

Stay the course

 •  Filed under Posts, Social Media, Blogging, RSS

I'm still grappling with Micro.blog but what's reassuring is Manton dedication to staying the course for the platform with an eye to the long term.

I plan to stay the course. I’m inspired by the work of the IndieWeb, which was founded 6 years ago and is still gaining momentum today. I hope that the solar eclipse photos posted to indie microblogs today will last through the next North American eclipse 7 years from now, and longer.

Flip the Iceberg by Manton Reece

Manton also includes a link to an article on AltPlatform that suggests blog-focused platforms could eventually become bigger than any of the existing social networks.

Open source tools like WordPress, 1999.io and Mastodon.social are creating many small networks of publishers, and popular tools like Twitter and Micro.blog could peer with them. If all of the social networks outside of Facebook interoperated at some level, they might eventually “flip the iceberg” and become the dominant form of social networking.

How Twitter, Micro.blog & Mastodon could team up to compete with Facebook by AltPlatform

With so many different outlets and tools out there it can become difficult to decide on where to focus your energy.

I'll cover my reasons for not publishing on the different social networks later on in the week.

Taming the Twitter timeline

 •  Filed under Posts, Twitter, Social Media, News

It seems that I just can't let go of my Twitter timeline. Despite not been very active on Twitter for the last few weeks, I still like to read through my timeline and see what's what. Largely I mostly interested in web development news and updates from people but I'll read other bits that people have posted.

Lately though my Twitter timeline has been a storm of political updates about what Trump is doing, not doing and other news surrounding him. It's getting to the point where my timeline has become a channel for political news and lots of other updates from the US. To be honest my Twitter timeline isn't where I want to read about this.

What's happening in the US regarding Trump, prejudice and racism is important. There's change happening and that's good. What I find difficult to do is to follow my timeline with all of this going on.

I'm simply not interested anymore in these kind of updates on Twitter due to the fact that it's simply become too much to follow and digest.

I'm trying to get a reign on my timeline again by adding more topical filters to restrict what I see and block retweets from most of the people I follow.

It's not that I'm trying to create a bubble of the world I see. I know what's happening in the US and I'm aware of it through various news sites. I just don't need to see this in my timeline as well.

I honestly think this is the last chance for me and Twitter to get along. The last few months have seen me fall away from Twitter. A lack of tweets and activity on my part is due to the fact that I don't like spending too much time on Twitter these days. I see the value in what Twitter does for other people but there's already enough noise on it without me adding to it.

For the moment I'm just going to try and tame the timeline that I have.

Deep vs shallow

 •  Filed under Posts, Blogging, Writing, Social Media

It seems that a lot of the things I'm reading online point towards long-form blogging again.

Gregory Brown sums up the change nicely in way I didn't think of.

Instead, I thought about how it might be nice to have a couple hundred blog posts rather than thousands of tweets. How it might be nice to build a few dozen deep relationships with people who read my stuff here, rather than hundreds of shallow relationships in 140 character bursts.

Bye Twitter, Hello Blogging! by Gregory Brown

Deep relationships through blogging. I've already met a number of great people through my blog. It's about time I started writing here again to keep those ties going.

Social Media Shifts

 •  Filed under Social Media, Posts

Social media is always on the change. They clamber over each other to promote their best features and in come cases even copy the features of social media networks. I'm looking at you Instagram!

Through all this changing landscape there's been one slow less obvious change that has happened over the last couple of years.

Goodbye Twitter

It's been a quiet on Twitter recently. With the absent Patrick Rhone and Kurt Harden on my Twitter timeline, I found that I wasn't checking in on my timeline as often. There seemed to be little point.

So over the weekend I removed the Twitter app from my phone and I removed all the lists I subscribe too with the exception of one. I then logged in to the Twitter website on my phone and then closed the tab down. The change has been positive.

I'm no longer a slave to the Twitter app on my phone. I'm no longer checking my timeline on an hourly basis. I'm no longer thumbing through the moments tab just to see what's going on. I like Twitter's Moments section but the lack of filtering on topics is infuriating. Yes, I would like to see the latest scores from the NFL, but I can't be bothered with things like celebrity news, football news and trending posts on Twitter.

I mentioned that I removed all but one of the lists I created. While lists were initially a good idea on Twitter they haven’t changed to keep pace with Twitter and now are nothing more than a less useful form of your timeline. I think lists can still have their place on Twitter but as of filtering your timeline rather than being a separate list. You still have to follow everyone on each list but with a change of a dropdown, you can change the accounts that are displayed on your timeline. Perfect for sports enthusiasts who might like to keep an eye on their timeline during major sporting events.

I also have less notifications distracting me. I did have notifications on for direct messages but that's just something that I now check on the mobile Twitter site. Replies aren't so important that I need to know about them right away and knowing about my latest new follower isn't worth checking out unless I'm not working and I have the time to do so.

Twitter has always been something of a necessary evil for me. It's now just a placeholder for myself on that network and I don't see me using it often for anything else but cross posting from other places like Instagram and Pocket. And I think that's a real shame. Twitter had such great promise in the early days but the changes over the last few years have seen the usual crowd I follow fall away from it and finding people with similar interests is possible, but it's not the same as following people that you have connected with and know.

Hello Instagram!

And while Twitter has been suffering it seems that Instagram is flourishing. Multiple photos on posts, stories (although I've still not used these), bookmarks and the soon to come collections has made Instagram a rising social media star for me.

Once I thought of it as nothing more than just a place for selfies, but having spent the last couple of years on it, it's definitely more than that. The creative spark behind a lot of the accounts on Instagram is great to see and the visual timeline is so much more appealing and positive than browsing my Twitter timeline.

It's not without it's faults though. The comments on posts is a nightmare to navigate. Frequently people simply comment with another person's name and that's it. It adds no value to the comments section but it's a quick way of notifying that person about the post. I think Instagram could definitely improve it's comments section by allowing you to filter comments and promote comments that are like by many.

Considering others

And while there are other places like Snapchat, Ello (still going?), and even a couple of new places, I've been slow to consider setting up accounts on other networks. Mastodon is a newcomer to social media and while the promise of a less centralised social media network is promising, the truth is that I simply don't have the time for it.

The recent closure of App.net taught me that it's wise to weigh up a social media network before you create an account on it. Sure, you can grab your handle and start posting, but what real value are you going to get from it? I suspect in most cases the answer is little. Social media networks are designed to be places where you consume data. To do that social media networks try to wall you in with features and formats that are special to that one network.

I'm glad to say that Micro.blog by Manton Reece is hoping to change all that by creating a social network that is powered by one of the oldest timeline tools on the Internet. RSS. Using RSS feeds, Micro.blog aims to break down the barriers of wall garden social media networks and provide something that uses a publishing medium you're already using. Your own blog. I'll be glad to see that released and hopefully soon.

My changing tastes in social media is down to the fact that I’ve less value in Twitter and more value in Instagram. One is getting weaker and the other is getting stronger. Twitter isn’t a sinking ship yet, but it’s far from a great place to be. I’ll stick with the more positive and visual Instagram for the foreseeable future.