Taming the information monster with @twitter, @facebook, @LinkedIn, @google plus
Over the years, I have tried a variety of ways to make social media work for me. I have tried various combinations and frustrated myself but now believe I have a great system that allows me to keep in touch with friends, interests, companies, general and specialised news, commentary and professional circles.
As well as being social and extraverted by nature, I am a news and technology junkie. The arrival of social media and iPhones and iPads have been a major crossing of the beams. They have unleashed a powerful force. A force that is now very much part of my make-up. In plain English, this means your friends say you are on social media too much.
Let’s deal with the easy one first. LinkedIn. It is a no brainer. It works well. It is an incredibly powerful tool for the work place, job searching, recruiting and more. It behooves you to have a great LinkedIn profile. When I have employed in the past, it is the first place I have ‘checked people out’. My Linked In profile is here: http://au.linkedin.com/in/andrewwoodward1966/ One thing I don’t engage in on LinkedIn are the groups. They’re just too busy for me.
I like facebook. It is like an online bar where I hang out with friends. We tell jokes; we boast about our adventures; we proudly show pictures of the achievements of friends and family; we share personal stories; we expose out black humour; we have an online cry and, we can sometimes be a little naughty and silly that results in a deletion the next day. A few years ago I took campaniles, sports teams, artists and causes off my facebook feed. It was a commercial intrusion into my time sitting at the bar with mates, It was the best thing I ever did with Facebook. Today, I have no companies, interests, sport teams, bands, charities and so on on facebook. It is purely friends. This means I can log into facebook and see what my mates, and no one else, are up to. It is like sitting at the bar and having a chat.
Twitter. Well, Twitter is how I ‘consume’ (horrible marketing term) most news and information these days. The best description I ever heard of Twitter was that it was like breaking wind in a cyclone, meaning one little Twitter message is likely to get lost in the thousands sent at the same time. Too true. But what changed Twitter for me was the discovery of ‘lists” within Twitter and the arrival of Flipboard (https://flipboard.com). With Twitter lists I can group what I am interested in in lists of groups then only see posts on that topic. That in itself is cool. It is like building your own newspaper. Then along came Flipboard which turns these lists into an easily readable ‘newspaper’ on your iPhone or iPad. You can also subscribe to other people’s lists. Here are mine: https://twitter.com/_andrewwoodward/lists . Flipboard is my most often used app on my iOS devices. I have two Twitter feeds. A private one and a public one. The public one is: https://twitter.com/_andrewwoodward .
Then there’s Google+. I like Google+. I would like Google+ to be more popular. However, it remains fringe. I think the apps for iOS are great. My friends don’t post on Google+ but there are people who do. Who? Companies, bands, artists, charities, causes and other things that I am interested in. This is what I use Google+ for – following things I am interested in. Sure I follow their Tweets but I love the presentation of content in Google+ apps. I keep friends out of Google+. I am: http://plus.google.com/+AndrewWoodward1966
In summary, my system is:
LinkedIn – my professional life
Facebook – my friends and families
Twitter via Flipboard – general and specialised news
Google+ – companies and interests
It takes a little while to ‘curate’ all of this but it is a great investment to help you manage information. Try it!