Thursday, March 03, 2011

Facebook? Nobody goes there anymore . . . it's too crowded.

The more people there are in a place, the less attention anyone pays to people. This seems to be as true in virtual places as anywhere else. Facebook has been a really powerful thing for me since it has helped me renew some friendships with friends that I'd lost touch with and even some family members that I don't see very often. But over time, and especially over the last few months, it's become increasingly difficult to maintain interest and devote energy to keeping up with it. There's a reason why before Facebook we didn't stay in touch with everyone we ever knew. In fact, there are a lot of reasons. So, I'll be watching to see what happens with Facebook now.

Twitter? Well, what can be said about Twitter that hasn't already been said? I read or was told by someone once that Twitter was where you followed the people you wanted to know, and Facebook was where you followed the people you do know. I can see that being a useful way to use the two sites together to be better informed and better connected personally and professionally. But like Facebook, it reached a saturation point for me where there's maybe a 25% chance I'll see something posted to Twitter by someone I follow. Unless of course they happen to be one of a very small group of people whose posts to Twitter I have forwarded to my cell phone. So, if I don't ever look at what they've posted on Twitter, am I really "following" 200 people? I don't think so.

That said, for an organization like a library or a university or even a small local business, Twitter can be a power tool for maintaining public awareness and communicating with customers or your community. So at this point in the evolution of the two, I'd say Twitter is the more useful to me as a one-to-many way of keeping in touch with a sort of "inner circle" of people, and as a way for that smaller group of people to share things with each other that they pick up from elsewhere.

So that's it. Nothing creative or insightful here, just an assignment completed and some thoughts recorded. I'll be back in a few weeks to delete this post.

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