It seems like the more communication alternatives we add, the more ways we find ourselves mis-communicating. With so many sites, phones, and email accounts to check, sometimes I find myself wishing we were all still writing letters to each other.
And then I remember how many people I interact with on a given day, all without leaving my desk—and I wonder how we ever made plans, met people, or found out what was happening out in the real world, back in the dark ages before social media.
In 2009, I set up a blog and registered for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook—the big three of the social media sites. I was excited to try out these new forms of communication, but I didn’t really understand how each would fit (or not fit) into my daily routine. Now after three years, I can tell you what works best for me.
1. Blogging: I’ve settled on once a week as a barely manageable schedule for posting new content. Having the link right in my email signature (thanks to WiseStamp) is a great way to promote my blog, but it also reminds me (when I see a return email) if the latest post is getting stale. That’s always good incentive to come up with a new idea.
I enjoy blogging because it’s a chance to delve into whatever seems most important to me at the moment—while still trying to be relevant to other writers and sailors. To those of you who regularly read and comment on Where Books Meet Boats, thank you!
2. Facebook: I use Facebook for both pleasure and business, and it’s harder and harder to separate the two into distinct buckets. Pleasure includes maintaining impersonal but still satisfying “relationships” with people I’ve never met, reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in a few decades, or staying up to date with a friend I just saw last week. Business includes promoting book signings, new books, and posts. (You may be reading this after finding it via Facebook.) I also maintain pages for a few clients.
Facebook has definitely evolved in the past three years, which is why we’re all still using it. It’s easy to share photos and video, with enough text to say something meaningful. And it’s also easy to breeze through the experiences of 250 people in about ten minutes.
3. Twitter: Only a few months after setting up my account I was already being described as a “tepid tweeter.” For the past few months I’ve been checking it about once a week, though I do get an email if anyone mentions @cansail. It is a great source of up to the minute information, and sometimes I feel like I know who won a regatta before the sailors do. But on a daily basis, I’ve let it drop off my “must check” routine.
4. LinkedIn: I never really warmed up to LinkedIn; it always seemed rather impersonal. I delete any requests to connect on LinkedIn, and though I have contact information listed there I never go to the site. Who knows, maybe my new best friend is waiting there for me… two people, separated by the irrational social media choices we all make.
5. Google+: I have a Google+ account, and I keep thinking we should all move there since it has a lot of nice features. So far, only a few friends have set up accounts there—and all of them have some sort of promotional reason to do so. I’m sure this will become more popular as Google figures out how to better promote it.
We’ve all matured together. No one can cover every aspect of social media, so I’ve chosen the ones that I enjoy the most and let the other ones go.
How’s your social media maturation going? Let’s talk about it… via comments below, of course!