(When you need a hole to crawl in) Just one of the wonderful offerings from The Strawbs on the Ghosts album. It was playing on iTunes in the background as I was doing some social networking last night. I couldn’t get over how appropriate it was.
While the advent of Google Plus, I have yet another social network where I have an account and am using to do some personal learning. I’m building it slowly as I go and am currently following 266 people. Already, there are some great discussions and personal growth that’s happening there. If I was just getting started in this whole genre, it might be the place where I go.
But, I’m not new to this. I have other places.
I have my Twitter account which is such a dynamic and powerful place to get started. At 140 characters, it has its limitations but also its strong points in that you have to get to the point immediately. Those that use it best get that and it can be very powerful when used properly.
I have a Facebook account with a whack of people connected there. It has served well to connect with family and indeed friends from other times and place. It serves me well although you do have to keep an eye on the changing privacy settings.
I have a Posterous account. This is serving as a multi-media blog for me where I just tuck away infographic, pictures, movies, etc. that I don’t want to lose track of since I might well need them for a blog post here or during a presentation.
I have a Tumblr account. It was to be a place where I would post a photo a day and I did so for a while. Sadly, other things caught up with me and I have a bunch of pictures that need to be added to keep it current. It started with good intentions but I found taking a prescriptive photo every day tedious after a while and I was losing the enjoyment of photography. I still take a lot of photos but post them in other places.
I have an Amplify blog. I like the concept here. On Twitter, rather than simply retweeting great resources, I’ll amplify them with my own thoughts and comments. It is a nice place to tuck away stories and I can return to them later and have my own original notes.
Of course, I have a Diigo account where I post some of the great links and resources that I find and wish to no lose track of and it serves as my own personal search engine in my browser. The Diigo bookmarks are backed up to a Delicious account which offers a different way of organizing and sharing them.
And, into the mix, I have this WordPress blog that I do my best to share my thoughts and learning and I get great paybacks for my efforts.
All of this digital footprint stuff is summarized here.
So, where do you go? Even as I type this, I come to the sense that there’s a tonne of things going on. Is it sustainable? Is it too much? Are there diminishing returns? Should one consolidate? An easy move would be to just post an “I’m moving” message and concentrate on one resource. Yet, there are really powerful and unique reasons for the services that I have set up. It seems almost criminal to disenfranchise myself from the great learning and sharing that I’ve enjoyed.
It would be so easy to say “I’ve gone Google”. However, even the folks at Google are quick to point out that they’re still in a beta of the service and that there’s more to come. We haven’t seen yet how they intend to make money with Google Plus. To date, it’s been advertisement-free but the reality is that it can’t stay that way. Will it become ad heavy?
Or, do I keep all the services going and continue the great networking that I’ve enjoyed? It’s been so valuable that it’s not an easy decision to make. For every reason to bail and switch, there are equally as good reasons to stay. On Google Plus yesterday, there was a good discussion about this with Peter Beens and Will Richardson. Will offered ifttt.com as a possible solution. Possible yes, but it doesn’t support Google Plus yet. Once the API is opened, you’ve got to believe that all of the major developers like Seesmic and Hootsuite will be all over it. While automation is nice to have (and many of the above are automated and hooked together), I really don’t want to have the same content just replicated from service to service. Some, yes; some no.
I can’t be the only person having these discussions. How about you? Are you ready to accommodate yet another social network into your daily routine or will something have to drop off the table?