And doesn’t that sum up your social media stream?
I particularly liked the research I saw a while ago that talked about how depressing it was to compare your life to the stream of good news you read about in your timeline. You *know* the crap in your life – the dog throwing up on the carpet, the baby screaming and going through 15 diapers in the last two hours, the struggles of living with another person – even one you love.
But those other people – they don’t have those problems do they?
Well, we know they do but they don’t share them and it’s easy to compare their idealized lives with yours (and you always seem to come out the worst for the comparison).
Admit it. There are times you feel jealous when your friends talk about their latest trip or latest success story. OK – we have that bit of honesty out of the way.
But Real Social Interaction
Now, when they tell you of those things in person, it doesn’t seem the same way.
It seems very cool and while you’d love to do it as well (I sure would) they temper it with the story of coming home dead tired to face the dog having to go the vet, the basement being flooded or whatever other trial that always awaits. You know the adventure was something special to them and you’re willing to share that enjoyment on their behalf. It’s a one-on-one sharing and not an avalanche of great news bombarding your humdrum daily existence.
Having Said That
I think social media is still so new, so shiny bright on our mental maps we haven’t sorted out its place yet. We’re all still experimenting with it and naturally, our inclination is not to share the crap of everyday existence. Who wants to read that as a steady info stream? I do know a few people who do post their every emotion and they’ve created wild rides which I’ve chosen not to follow.
And just as I’m no longer interested in an unending story of bad, I’m no longer interested in an unending story of superlatives. They now bore me as well.
And no, I have no idea where the balance is. And I suspect it will be different for every person.
Where Does That Leave Me?
Haven’t the foggiest. How’s that for succinct.
I’m still struggling with the “should” of it all. I “should” do social media and I “should” want to care about it.
As I said, still struggling.
Doesn’t Include My Email Lists
This doesn’t include my author email lists and direct subscribers. Those folks signed up for updates directly from me. A small distinction to be sure but I control those lists and when a reader signs up, it’s guaranteed to go to their inbox. If they open – fine. If they don’t open – fine.
As an addendum to this – if a reader doesn’t open an email within 6 months, I will email them to ask if they still want to receive the email. If they don’t open that one, I delete them from the list. There’s little point in me spending dollars to send something to somebody who doesn’t read it for six months.
A “clean” and active list is a thing of beauty.
Mid-Week Update on Flipboard
Several years ago, I tried to interest a few people in joining me in an aggregation project. Bottom line: we’d all read and share information across our interests and see where that took us. Didn’t fly. Not enough people were interested in the concept or I wasn’t clear about the future of aggregation.
Think editorial curation of the Net, think the old Yahoo search engine where every last site was hand-vetted before it was added to the search engine and you’ll get the picture. There’s so much crazy stuff running around out there it’s tough to make sense of it all never mind find all the interesting things. This is where curation comes in – curators slash editors slash sharing resources to bring a range of information to readers.
This is what I’ve been doing on Flipboard and as I mentioned last week, one of my flips went viral. The inbound stream passed 30,000 subscribers this past weekend and has slowed down to only a few hundred a day. So in one week, I’ve gone from just under 700 subscribers to over 30,000. Very cool.
No work on my part because I read and explore all this stuff anyway. I just “flip” it with a single stroke and share it.
Is there an upside for me? If I flip something I’ve written into the stream, it may be read by more people but otherwise, it’s just a labour of love and sharing.
Is This Social Media?
I think it’s a pure form of info sharing without any “social” component. So nope, not in my mind.
Ahh, What About Real Social Media
Who knows? Totally irrelevant in my daily life at the moment. I see I didn’t disengage the SM part of the WordPress platform so it still goes out on my channels (twitter etc)
I’ll have to get back to you.