My Reasons for a Social Media Shuffle

Parking Lot imageI like to explore. I get excited about new places and things. I can’t help it.

Sometimes it gets me in trouble. Like the first time I traveled to Washington, D.C. I parked in a parking garage, got excited about my new surroundings and failed to notice the address of the garage. Hours later, I couldn’t remember the exact location amid a handful of parking garages in the area. Silly directionally-challenged me.

I recently let the same thing happen with social media. I got distracted. While studying interactive media in graduate school, I dove into all kinds of social media sites. Some I found more useful than others, so some profiles lingered untouched. I thought I needed to keep all of them alive and around. Silly directionally-challenged me.

So I reevaluated the social media tools I used and the approach I took. Here’s what I did.

Less is More

  • StumbleUpon: Gone. I enjoyed the spontaneity of this social discovery and bookmarking site, but to me, it overlapped some of what I found on Twitter and Delicious.
  • Vimeo: Gone. I like Vimeo’s interface much more than YouTube’s, but I stuck with YouTube because I’ve been there longer.
  • Google Buzz: Gone. I simply turned off my Buzz account, but did not delete. I’m curious to see what will happen with the much-rumored Google Me, and how that will effect Buzz.
  • Delicious: Replaced. I joined Diigo because it has more options, like sticky notes and page captures.
  • Flickr: Replaced. Now, have a simple photo blog on Posterous in place of Flickr. Although I love Flickr, I never used it that much, and the blogging style fits me better.
  • I also kept profiles on the current standbys: Facebook and LinkedIn.

So now I’m a firm believer in less is more. I can focus more on the services I enjoy more, like Twitter, and giving more attention to my running blog on Tumblr. However, I would say to each his own. You have to find the right combination that suits you and your interests.

Tips for Organization

My advice?

  1. Use the networks you actually enjoy and/or are important to your profession.
  2. Keep your main profiles to a minimum of three to five. Have another two or three that you experiment with.
  3. Constantly evaluate. Are you using your profiles? Are you getting value? Are you giving value?

I certainly still leave room for exploration. I’m trying the new Digg, although I never used the older version much, and Cliqset stands alone as one of my favorite, lesser-known social networks and tools. So I still explore, except now it’s easier to remember where I parked.

Image by Drouu.