Social Media Blues

Posted on 09/16/2012 in misc

Is anybody else getting burnt out on feeling like you need to keep up with everything passing you by on Facebook, Twitter, etc? While reading what I wrote here previously about social media, I came upon this quote from July 27, 2007.

I’m not sure it’s a good thing, but I can see Facebook becoming the central hub for just about everything, replacing individual blogs as the home base for many web 2.0 types

I totally nailed that one, didn't I?

I recently moved more than a few people on Facebook to the "important only" post setting. Facebook doesn't seem to recognize political herp derp as important and that has cleaned up my wall quite a bit. The initial rush of thinking how cool it was to reconnect with people I hadn't communicated with in 20+ years has mellowed to a realization that maybe there was a reason we didn't keep in touch after high school or college. Hell, I've been on the first page of Google for my name since about 1998. Anybody that wanted to reconnect with me could have found me. Pretty much nobody did prior to Facebook. However, I'm also closer with a few people today than I was during high school. That is the great paradox of FB. For all my negative feelings about the service, it does just enough good in my life to keep me around. I think if I stick to using it purely for socializing and stay away from politics I'll be good. Easier said than done though.

Twitter has become mostly useless. It's an advertising and self-promotion platform for social media consultants to promote their latest top 5 list to the other 400 social media consultants that follow them, who in turn will promote their own top 5 lists. It is still an amazing resource for getting breaking news right from the source. I have friends locally that I met originally on Twitter. That hasn't happened in about 3 years though. The interactivity and connections that used to happen on Twitter don't really happen anymore. It's a broadcast medium now. It even has commercials in the form of sponsored tweets that get inserted into your stream, whether you want them or not.

I really want to like Google Plus. When I do get involved in a conversation there it is usually interesting. It's like Usenet before AOL unleashed their losers users on it in 1996 or 1997. However, engagement there is pretty hard to come by. Most posts get ignored. Nobody is reading, regardless of what Google's press releases claim.

And then there is this blog. The original social network. It's not going anywhere. Writing stuff here is cathartic for me. Readers are a bonus, but not really required. I may be down 90% since the readership peak in 2006, but I'm still about 1000% above what I ever imagined this could be when O'DonnellWeb 1.0 launched in 1995. So to both of you, thanks for reading :)

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