Friday, July 16, 2010

Are we sharing content online efficiently? (Part 5)

ISSUE: Outside of the Google-verse

With Google Reader as my personal online content hub, I easily find interesting content that I desire to share with friends and followers. So, who are these “friends” and “followers” and where are they?

Of course the most obvious connection is that my friends are on Facebook while my followers are on Twitter. People connect to others on social networking sites but my connections on Facebook and Twitter align with the nature of the networks, I believe. On Facebook, I am “friends” with my actual group of friends plus acquaintances and coworkers; basically, if we are Facebook friends, we have met and have some personal or professional connection before friending each other. Facebook has allowed me to communicate with these people in different ways than we would have in the absence of such a social network. My Twitter experience is somewhat backwards from my Facebook experience; I don’t necessarily know the people that I tweet or RT. I found some niches—check out my lists—and I especially like to follow my own list comprised of other “tweeps” in Greensboro and the Triad. I may often think of Twitter as a worldwide open chat room, but the first thing I go to when I sign in is my list of locals with whom I actually connect, and I get value from that.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want my Facebook and Twitter worlds to mix too much. As much as I tried to explain Twitter to some of my friends (I didn’t try that hard) I realized that I was quite comfortable without them being a part of it. I don’t feel like I have to then explain this to them either, but because I am comfortable with those two social networks not mixing, I understand that one doesn’t replace the other—for me or for people in general. They are two different platforms. Though I was socially networking on Twitter, like I had been doing on Facebook, it was a different environment. I’ve heard that Twitter is like a cocktail party and Facebook is like a backyard BBQ. I am not sure how deep everyone digs into that metaphor but it’s so true. It’s kind of like Twitter allows you to mingle without that busy-ness of getting dressed up in your nice jeans and trying to figure out who you know at the party.

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