Social sites can be such a TIME SUCK that I have to limit my time. Here is just a small list of social sites available; Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, AIM Status, GTalk Status, Plurk, MySpace, Tumblr, Identi.ca, Brightkite, FriendFeed, Jaiku, Blogger, Plaxo Pulse, LiveJournal, Bebo, hi5, Mashable, kwippy, Xanga, WordPress.com, Delicious, Friendster, Yahoo 360, Koornk, Diigo, you are, Multiply, Yammer, Flickr, Utterli, imeem, seismic, Laconi.ca, Present.ly, Vox, TypePad, ShoutEm, StreetMavens, Radar, myYearbook, Photobucket, Posterous, Yahoo Profiles, Tagged. So many social sites, so little time to visit each one. There are more social sites out there, if I missed one you like I apologize now.
I am only using three sites now; Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. Each site is uniquely different and I use them differently. I know everyone reading this has their favorites. What it comes down to which site the group of people I associate with use. Out of the three sites Twitter is easiest to use. I average reading about 250 tweets(and individual post on Twitter is called a tweet) per day and it is easy to filter because everyone is limited to 140 characters. I like it better than email. I follow people in the internet industry and only click on links that interest me. I primarily use Twitter on my cell phone. So if you see me driving on the interstate I am probably skimming my Twitter account(kidding, sort of). When Twitter first came out I thought it was stupid, a 140 character micro-blog. Now it is my favorite for keeping up with current events in the internet world. If you haven’t Twittered at least start an account and follow people who you like. After a while you will come to like this site.
Facebook is another social site that I like but I only use it for family and friends. I have family whom I haven’t seen in years who I am now getting reacquainted with through Facebook. My wife and I are learning about each other’s politics. I should have asked when we started dated, 13 years and two kids later, I guess it’s a little late now. I have found that in life and on my Facebook account I can’t talk about religion or politics. The health care issue has brought up some interesting debates on Facebook. What I like most about Facebook are the pictures. Yes you can upload pictures to Twitter but one at a time. I like going through a large group of pictures and seeing friends and family. The only downside to Facebook is when someone solicits you to participate with some game or contrived poll. I hate all of that crap and I always ignore it. One of the other things I don’t like is friends and family who post things like; “I am signing off for the night” or “I just woke up and it is going to be a great day”. My sister is the worst, I love her, but I am ready to de-friend her. She posts stuff like “I just got back from a 2 mile walk”. Who cares! Did you see anything interesting while you were walking? Give me substance, I love when my sister post pictures of her grand kids. Another friend was talking about going to Chicago for the weekend, I Love Chicago. I sent him a link to Ditka’s(http://mikeditkaschicago.com/) letting him know about a place to find a great steak in Chicago. This is the essence of socializing and sharing information. This is why we do it and why social media will never go away.
The other site I use is Linked in. This is my professional social site. I interact with this site maybe once a week. It is a lot easier to maintain and because it is a business environment I have to maintain certain decorum. So the political discussion does not happen on this site. If you are a professional of any type this is a must have because it can help you prospect for business or information pertaining to your industry. I recommend this to anyone working or looking for work, it is a great networking tool.
So I have three social circles I run in; personal, professional and industry. This is no different than being in the Rotary Club or some other organization except that it isn’t face to face and you can’t talk to as many people at the same time. I know that most of the people with a computer and an internet connection are on some kind of social site, it is going to keep growing. The question I leave you with is; how many social sites do you interact with and how do you use them?