Social Networking

Some thoughts about social networking…

Why? When? How? ….Why?

So, I've been dabbling in social networking for a few years now. Mostly as an observer, but with some participation.


Online resume. Not really into heavy professional networking. Interested in reasonably firm relationships, not maintaining tenuous contact with every person I've ever met in business. Because I'm not in sales, contracting, or job-hopping, it's difficult to maintain on-going promotion of my online brand. I don't begrudge others, but I guess my brand is more rooted within the relationships of those people with whom I have truly worked side-by-side.


Writing for strangers without a clear purpose is not very rewarding. Blogging makes me feel like I need to be pretty careful about what I write. Most of what I would want to blog about is work related; therefore, it's mostly off limits to public posting. Also, it seems blogs are primarily aimed at writing for an audience. Which suggests you should attract and retain an audience. Which means you better have regular, thought provoking content. Which can become work.


Okay, but the stream became pretty noisy. Then everyone left.


Better than expected, but expectations were low. Can dip my toe into the stream for some industry pulse, but don't care if I miss a lot of posts. Regret that some of my tweets were snarky quips or complaints. Should focus on contributing meaningful content. For off-the-cuff remarks, I should make sure they're generally positive in nature. Don't care much for MOTDs, most re-tweets, or links to articles, blogs, etc…


Good place to store and organize project notes and breadcrumb tutorials for my future self. Don't mind if people observe, but no pressure since I'm writing for me.


Helpful tool for augmenting wiki content. Good place to share finished stories.


Too much senseless commentary. Too much political and ideological commentary. Cluttered interface with a lot of real estate wasted on meta-information and links versus actual content.


Just started. Perhaps this is what I want. A clean interface for keeping a photo journal for myself. Similar to the wiki, I don't mind if people observe, but I'm not publishing or trying to entertain others; rather, it's for me.

Conclusions, Disillusions

I'm not nearly as narcissistic as I expected. I assumed there would be a nice dopamine hit if someone were to re-tweet my tweet, like my post, or subscribe to my whatever. Turns out, I really don't care. Of course, it's nice to read a meaningful comment from an actual friend, but I'm not particularly interested in what folks in the outer valences have to say. Even with friends, meaningful is important. Facebook seems rife with comments such as; "cool!" "great pic!" "so jealous, have fun!" and other empty rhetoric.

Many blogs, tweets, and posts are simply content about other content; commentary about other commentary, or blogs about other blogs. Altogether, it's just a churning morass of mostly unimportant stuff.

Social media is probably not the hobby for me. My hobbies are things like volunteering, 3D animation, making movies, running, camping, building robots, and BBQ. Social media might have a role, but it seems I'm more likely to use it as a tool -not as a stage to impress others. It's actually quite interesting to come full circle. Despite being one of the earliest Internet users I know (BBSes by MoDem, then Usenet, THEN Mosaic) it's always been a tool in my eyes. It's not a destination, a place to hang-out, browse, or surf. It's a tool I turn to with a (usually) specific task in mind. A means to and end.

So, what are the next steps?

Keep using Wiki to organize projects and thoughts.
Start using Tumblr as a daily photo journal

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