Earlier today I got a new follower notification from Twitter. The Tin Foil Five is now following me. It didn't scream obvious spam link so I clicked through. It turns out that they are a local metal band. I didn't know we had any original metal in FredVegas, so that's cool to know. I'd like to think they somehow picked up on the fact that I do listen to metal and am local. More likely they are following anybody local. Either way is really fine. All local followers get the benefit of the doubt, although I quickly unfollow if it becomes apparent that their primary contribution to the twitter stream will be ads for their business.
Anyway, the band's Twitter profile smartly links to their Myspace page, so I could check out some tunes. The Myspace page makes reference to their Facebook profile. So now I have a bit of a decision to make. If I want to keep up with the band and maybe catch a show, how best to do that? One assumes they will announce gigs on Twitter. The Facebook page looked like it was being kept up to date. Myspace had the music availability, but the latest blog update there was last year. What if they also had a website at TheTinFoilFive.com? (they don't btw). In their case, I went with Facebook and became a fan there. And I do plan to catch a show sometime. The Celebrate VA shows have reminded me how much I like live music. (Zoso next week? Anyone? Anyone?)
It all gets very confusing quickly, and points to a bigger problem. I'm already getting the same updates from various friends 3 and 4 times. Somebody posts a picture on Flickr, which they embed in their blog, tweet the link to the picture, which gets picked up by their Facebook page, etc. Services like FriendFeed aim to solve that problem, but very few of my friends are there, and I just prefer my RSS feeds to come from the source. It occurs to me that a band (or really any commercial enterprise) could quickly piss off their fans by over loading them with updates that get repeated across 5 channels. It's important for a lot of us to be in all those channels, but the web / social media sphere is starting to feel a little like commercial radio with the same content being syndicated over and over! I think I'd like people, bands, and companies to let us know which channel is primary. It's good to test out everything, but let people know that no matter what, anything important going on will be on your blog, or Facebook page, or where ever. And then update that source when things change.
Of course I'm not exactly eating my own dog food on this one. My life is spread across Facebook, Twitter, and this blog. The blog has become where I place my more drawn out thoughts, like this one. And my links, which are the exact opposite of a drawn out thought. So that makes a lot of sense. However if you just follow my blog you'll have no idea what I'm doing most days. Twitter is sort of like my watercooler conversation during the day, and Facebook is sort of like happy hour with friends. More detail, but still a concerted effort not to offend anybody. Here on the blog, in your my home, and my rules apply :) I started with a company lunchroom analogy for Facebook, but it didn't feel right as I keep Facebook a coworker free zone. In fact, I do the same with Twitter, so the watercooler analogy isn't quite right there either. Whatever.
What's my point in all this? I guess think about how you are using all these various channels, and make sure the people important to you (whether they be family, friends, fans, or customers) understand what you are doing so they don't get lost in the shuffle. And make sure you have a home base, and that we all know where that is.
I got all this from a single Twitter new follower notification. What's up with that?