(Image Source: Invisible PR)
I have been wanting to blog about social media for a while now. I never could find exactly the right angle, until Weigh Your Mind's Social Media Blank. Jason of Weigh Your Mind has become one of my favorite Twitter acquaintances, through the very simple act of conversational tweets back and forth about this and that (AND the occasional retweet of my blog). When I finally decided to visit his site and figure out the site behind the tweep, I ran across the Social Media Blank and voila! I had my mechanism for discussing social media (thanks, Jason).
The red sentences indicate the "starter" thoughts and the underscored areas are my responses. I added additional commentary below some of my responses.
The most important thing about Twitter is how it can instantaneously help people in geographically (and interpersonally) distant places share the same experience, real-time.
I prefer words over pictures on Facebook.
Strange, right? I mean, the site is called "Facebook," not "Wordbook." I do enjoy the pictures, but I have a slight grudge because exposure to all of these pictures still does not help me overcome my horrible, horrible memory of faces and names. I like the words, though, because I seriously love to communicate via the written word, and Facebook gives me the platform (with the added bonus of pics) to share my good news, bad news, and quirky observations with a lot more people than if I were relying on the spoken word.
The most common mistake on Linkedin is thinking you have it figured out.
I do have a Linkedin profile, and when I get "so-and-so wants to connect with you on Linkedin, I usually follow through," but I am skeptical that Linkedin can ever do anything for me professionally. Sometimes when I read "testimonials" for people whose abilities I know pretty well, I wonder if the recommender and the recommendee have ever even been in the same room.
In the next 5 years, I predict social media will morph repeatedly, presenting us users with the challenge of keeping up and adapting. I also think many things that are currently "free" may move to a fee-based arrangement.
The most positive result I have seen from social media is giving multiple generations a way to communicate on a somewhat even playing field.
I got on Facebook partially to keep up with my teenager. But I rapidly integrated Facebook into my everyday routines. For some entities with whom I communicate (such as FSU Film), if I were not on Facebook, I would miss so many opportunities. And on a level that is very "micro" from the standpoint of the Facebook universe, I have had opportunities to exchange thoughts and feelings with FB friends about experiences past, present and future that I would not have had without FB.
I also read that the fastest growing demographic for Facebook is ages 55 and above. I can always hope that my children's grandparents will get on the bandwagon and share the fun.
I use social media to connect, connect, connect.
And, I have to admit, to fulfill my curiosity about details that I would not have known about people who are otherwise relatively casual acquaintances without access to their pictures, relationships, and favorite stuff.
The social media platform I use the most is Facebook because it is easier to keep up with than Twitter.
Maybe I still haven't found the right Twitter platform, but Twitter feels like a snapshot and Facebook feels like the full length movie.
I consider Twitter to be a) a whole lot important than it was six months ago and b) a prime method for promoting my blog and my identity as the Big Green Pen.
I think the social games on Facebook are not for me.
I find them especially problematic when my 11 year old boy plays things like "Midnight Racer II" and I end up with status updates like, "Paula just unlocked a Fly Ferrari and is gonna smoke some suburbia a** tonight!"
(But I do admit those little Farmville animals are awfully cute.)
On Linkedin, I don't think I have figured it out.
When writing this blog, I discovered that I have not changed my Linkedin profile job title, which changed ten months ago in November 2009. Nobody noticed.
What does this all mean? What I hope it does not mean is that I am addicted to Facebook, as Ron Greenstein apparently suggested to my husband a few months ago. What I hope it does mean is that I have found another way to connect with people, using a medium that draws upon my writing skills and allows me to share more of who I am.
And if connecting in writing doesn't work out? I can always arrange a #tweetup!