I 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
- Use the networks you actually enjoy and/or are important to your profession.
- Keep your main profiles to a minimum of three to five. Have another two or three that you experiment with.
- 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.