Anthropological fascination link of the day

– this hashtag on Twitter: #itsnotgoingtowork

There’s smart/sassy remarks, pure boasting, cri de coeurs, making political points, social justice calls, promoting the latest hotspot, and shaming of friends/lovers behaving badly. Some of it is funny, some of it is progressive, lots of it is very reactionary, and wow: it’s hard to look away.

A few weeks ago @stephenfry tweeted a link to a page that shows a feed of thumbnails of all the images that are uploaded to Twitter (can I find it? no yes!) – just watching the parade pass by is mesmerising. This is much the same.

Which sorta ties into a thought I had earlier this morning on the proliferation of social networks after reading this OLO post by Mark Bahnisch on how non-users perceive and often mischaracterise users of social media/networks. For example: I’ve only been active on Twitter for a bit over a month, and I’m not particularly active, especially compared to others I’m following who have a busy social whirl through tweeting. I have a protected account for my closest invisible friends and an open account for comedy/webdev/general politics stuff, and I don’t check my Tweet app every time it pings and sometimes I don’t fire it up until late afternoon or early evening. It’s useful, and often enjoyable, but it’s not essential to me. But what about all the other social media that keep on appearing?

Lots of established bloggers who blog about serious stuff now seem to have a Tumblr account for lighter blogging where they’re not so devoted to meticulously crafting the written word and they can play with their less serious hobbies. Or just to have another site where they are also serious but are perhaps fleshing out thoughts and reactions before putting something up on their main blog. Are multiple blogs/journals/whatever sites a good idea for handling multiple moods online? Or just an aid to fragmentation?

And now I just logged into Disqus to comment on someone’s Tumblr, and Disqus seem to have added a whole heap of features to integrate Disqus and other platforms – is that a good idea? I don’t know. I like my Seesmic desktop app that allows me to post simultaneously to my Facebook account and to multiple Twitter accounts, but do I want another app integrating all that as well? Will it streamline my social networking or will it just be more spreading of its already tangled branches?

How will it these streaming apps work with the privacy settings I’ve only just tweaked to my satisfaction on Facebook using friend-list filters? Is another social network a good way to get away from people who’ve found me on Facebook that I’m not willing to actually block but aren’t that happy about friending either? What to do?

What forms of social media are others using? What do they help you with? Is it just recreational or are there other benefits? What have I missed?

Categories: technology

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9 replies

  1. I feel like a Luddite. I think I understood about 25% of that.

  2. I’m just kind of goin’ with what works.
    Because of what I blog, there is no way I could ever — as I used to — separate the personal stuff from the serious/political stuff. ‘cuz my former IS my latter.
    I consider my tumblr a sort of scrapbook. I save pictures, quotes, links that I like. Come to find out, there’s a social network going on within tumblr, too, that I dabble in (probably closer to how you dabble in twitter now).
    I think, honestly, when I look at my blog, I don’t want it to read like an off-the-cuff journal. It is a writing product. Whereas in the tumblr, I can throw the off-the-cuff thoughts in once in awhile and not really mind. But if I included them all in my blog — it would be too high-volume for me, for one thing, but would also change the type of product, so to speak. And it’s harder for me to tap into that serious writing when I feel surrounded by the lighter stuff. That’s probably the main of it for me personally…
    How I interact with communities online — certainly it’s been in a hundred different ways over the years… public journals, private/friends-only journals, and blog-style journals (before blogs really got rollin’). Message boards. Myspace, Facebook.
    The networks which are necessarily linked to my real-life identity — it’s not even that I don’t feel comfortable associating that with this online, political, pseudonymous identity — but I don’t feel comfortable participating in them at all anymore. Because then I’m guaranteed to be found by my family. That means that I have lost deeply valued friendships (for somewhat complex reasons, but mainly due to that). I’ve been growing more and more sad/pissed about that over the past couple months, actually. But that’s somewhat off-topic.

  3. I only use a couple of social media networks, and I tend to have specific uses for them. Facebook is usually for personal stuff and playing Scrabble. I joined Twitter earlier this year, just to see what all the fuss was about. I found it slightly addictive- to the point that I started blogging as well. I really love procrastination.
    What really surprised me with Twitter is that it’s actually been quite useful professionally in terms of meeting other artists and getting involved with group projects. Plus, when I’m spending a lot of time alone in the studio in the lead up to a show, having access to online networks helps to stave off the cabin fever.

  4. Yeah good topic 🙂 I was pondering twitter not so long ago, signed up and made a few tweets but I seriously don’t have the time for that level of interaction with the web. Sure its less intense that say facebook might be and definitely less involved than blogging but the whole constantly intouch thing which it shares with facebook is tiresome. I mean the whole internet friend thing is a bit of a worry. So I guess I tend these days to avoid things that suck my time, having said that here I am 🙂
    amandaw probably sums it up for me, my blog is about writing too. That’s probably why I do it and my internet interactions are a kind of frank and open exchange of views mediated by the written (?) word. I think a few coffees between friends is still preferable to a computer application 🙂

  5. Ok, I just lost my comment so I’ll try again.
    Firstly, I really like this post, I like the way you’re thinking.
    I tend to keep my blog for more considered opinion and use twitter as a thinking outloud kind of medium. That’s where Twitter really comes into its own in my opinion because it’s not just an echo chamber, you hear back from people who might give you more to think about or offer another point of view. Of course it depends who you’re following and what level of involvement you’re interested in.
    I also tend to keep Facebook completely seperate from twitter & the blog. I consider it more of a phonebook of real life friends. I like the freedom of being able to speculate on the blog without having friends point out things I may have done or opinions I’ve held in the past that may run contrary or make them doubt my current account. (People can sometimes find it hard to believe a person can change her mind.) Although, in reality most people who know me irl know my blog, there’s sort of an unspoken rule that it’s not discussed irl. Furthermore, most of my friends aren’t interested in my political opinions. I get a lot of eye rolling. So online I can stand my ground without having to “ruin the afternoon”. A coward’s way out, but at least I can work through ideas before I stand up for them in the real world.

    • @shinynewcoin,
      I see what you mean entirely about how different social networks aid compartmentalisation of different social circles. And why not? Isn’t that what we do in meatspace too?

  6. Let’s see – currently I have a LiveJournal (which I haven’t touched since about 2007), an InsaneJournal (which is my default blog for the moment), a Facebook page I never look at (I looked at it earlier today to check what my user name was for a friend who’s trying to keep track of other friends across multiple social networking sites), a Twitter account ditto (looked at it today and discovered my last tweet was about a year ago), bookmarks I occasionally look at through, an ICQ number I can never remember, accounts on both Yahoo IM and AIM, a page on Technorati I haven’t looked at in ages, and various other bits and pieces out there. I once sat down and tried to collate a list, but that hasn’t been updated in a long time either. My RSS feeds are viewed in the RSS ticker app for Firefox (the titles scroll along down the bottom of the page, and I look at the ones which catch my interest along the way).
    My biggest criterion is convenience. If it’s easier for me to keep up with things in a particular way (such as the RSS ticker) I’ll use it. If it isn’t, I won’t, which is why things like Twitter, (and similar link sharing sites) and Facebook are things I’ve tried and dropped along the wayside. I’m much more of a reader than a writer, and I tend to think of myself as more of a listener than a talker, too. This is why I tend not to log into IM services (to the extent that I don’t even have one installed on the machine I’m using now). Plus my life is pretty boring – I’m unemployed, and there’s only so much excitement available in things like “applied for another job, pretty sure I won’t make the interview stage” repeated ad nauseam.

    • Grr – #itsnotgonnawork has been a trending topic most of the day, and the last section of timeline I looked at was about 2/3 spamtweets. Enjoyable before they got busy, though.

  7. I’ve actually found it works the other way around. Twitter is absolutely perfect for one-liners, and I’ve used it as my primary means of communication for the last few months.
    So now when I’m creative, my ideas tend to comprise short, sharp sentences of about 140 characters. This is detrimental to my actual blog, because I now find it hard to think in paragraphs.
    So, in a way, I have adapted to the technology instead of the other way around.

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