Scoble’s post on scalable living offers some interesting insight into how people use social platforms to communicate with audiences. What I find most interesting are his views on the role of Facebook in how he shares content. Here’s a key passage from what he wrote:
So, what role does a blog have in this new world. It certainly is NOT centralizing my life. Facebook is — by far — the best place to do that. This morning alone I listened to several songs in the car. Do you really want me to post every time that happens here? No way. But on Facebook that’s easily dealt with. Even better Facebook usually filters that stuff out and Facebook gets better over time at figuring out what you want to engage with and what you don’t. If you saw everything I did on my profile come through on your home feed you would unfollow within an hour. Instead 330,000 new people in the past year alone have subscribed to me on Facebook. Why? It’s scalable living and having great inbound makes life more interesting.
Now, Scoble is an edge case, to put it mildly. Few of us communicate on social platforms with even a fraction of the people who follow him. But how many of us would even consider using Facebook to share content that’s related to our work as social media professionals? Would your friends be interested in your views on Google+? I doubt it. I know mine wouldn’t.
Most of what Scoble discusses is how we share and consume information. He notes that Facebook’s algorithm helps you make choices about what you see and what you don’t. That’s not true of other platforms and if you’re like me, you don’t mind information overload. But have you given much thought to how you share content?
I wrote about how I share content recently, but I’ve challenged myself to go further. Once upon a time, we used to talk about personal branding. Maybe that’s still a thing, but it’s not one we talk about much. Now I think it’s important to consider your audiences and how you syndicate original content and links across your networks. Does it make sense to spam Twitter, Tumblr and Google+ with the same links? Did it ever make sense to feed your tweets into LinkedIn?
Here’s how I presently use social networks to share ideas and content for professional and personal purposes.
- Twitter: Engagement, engagement, engagement. Probably my noisiest social presence, but likely the most rewarding. Not only is it a great forum to follow news, it’s the place where people are having many conversations simultaneously. For me, it’s a place where I can talk about tech, baseball, television, music and Philadelphia with folks I’ve met online or IRL in realtime. Makes it a bit like dialogue in a Robert Altman film, but I find it very satisfying.
- Facebook: Strictly personal. I’m dabbling with using it more for news and updates, but my engagement there is limited. It’s a great place to share pictures of my son with friends, but it’s also very difficult to sift through the people I reconnected with from high school who simply don’t add much to the conversation. I don’t mind if they like a cute pic of my kid, but I’d rather not read their insights on what’s happening in politics.
- Google+: Longform Twitter. I love Google+, but I can see why people struggle with it. I recently asked if anyone uses Google+ as their primary social network, eliciting a “yes” from no less than Loren Feldman. I find their mobile apps beautiful and the Flipboard integration has me sharing more there, too. However, the barrier to widespread adoption is that even though getting started on Google+ may be easier than any network that preceded it, there’s some fatigue among those who are comfortable with Facebook. Hopefully that’s an evolving position.
- Tumblr: I’ve struggled with Tumblr. When I first joined, my editorial antennae saw it as a community with a real distaste for, well, words. My view has evolved. I think that it’s one of the most engaged communities around content. I’m sorry that I’ve dropped in and out there. Perfect place to run Shorter Ramsayings and share my brief thoughts on developments in the social web.
- Pinterest: The jury is out for me. Is it nu-Tumblr? I find it beautiful to look at, but I don’t get a great deal of utility out of it personally. There’s always a part of me that wonders what lurks in the links behind the images. That said, a great image is a perfect hook to drive people to the content you’d like them to see. It’s simple and searchable. Looking forward to an iPad app.
- LinkedIn: The sleeping giant. Can’t think of a more undervalued community. Spend some time there and you’ll see what I mean. Great place to share your professional accomplishments and the signal-to-noise ratio has improved dramatically since the Twitter fire hose was shut off. Give LinkedIn another look and you’ll find that it’s a great place to learn about where you work or where you’d like to work.
So go out there and be generous. You’re sharing your own insights for free. They’re valuable. Be thoughtful about what you’re sharing with whom and make the most of it!