Saturday, April 30, 2011

not-so-social media

here i go again, over-analyzing social media.

i've been trying to decide whether to create an author page on facebook, and it occurred to me how interesting it is that so many people keep separate pages on FB - a professional/public one and a personal/private one. why the separation? could it be because there are varying levels of sociability?

i know, for me, there's a difference between what i would consider social behavior in, say, Las Vegas with my college buddies vs. maybe a conference with business colleagues.
i tend to lump online social media into the latter category and think of it as a professional conference.

the various social media can even represent conference "parts."

- keeping a blog is like hosting a breakout session. people will come if they are interested, and you control the flow of the conversation.
- facebook author pages are showcase displays. people can cruise by and see what you’re up to in a quick glance.
- message boards are round-table discussions. everyone gets a chance to speak, but they have a minute to think about what they want to say, and when they have the floor, they get some space to say it.
- twitter is the cocktail hour free-for-all at the end of the day.
- and personal facebook pages are like coming home to your family at night and telling them what you really think.

of course, we all use social media our own way, so your breakdown may be different.
but whether you tumble or tweet... or stick to facebook and forums, you probably have a different audience in mind for each - and possibly a different set of rules for what is acceptable "social" behavior.

as for me, i'm trying to loosen up a little online and stop worrying quite so much about the etiquette. i hope i'll be able to bring a bit of Vegas to this online conference.


fakesteph said...

I think facebook also limits the number of friends you can have (they might not anymore, but in the past I believe it was about 5,000). So for some people it wasn't practical to have a facebook profile for their fans if they had more than 5,000 fans. Also, when you get to have that many people connecting with you on your personal profile, it overloads itself and is no longer useful. At least for me and my family, facebook is quickly becoming the easiest way to share news and pictures when we live far away. That's hard to do if your newsfeed is full of 4500 fans trying to get your attention as well. :)

fakesteph said...

And I love social media. So fun!

erinjade said...

connecting with family and friends = exactly why i prefer facebook over twitter. it's got that extra "personal" dimension.
but by creating a separate page as an author, it feels like i'm saying "only the non-personal stuff for you folks" - like i'm leaving people out of my "real" facebook full of pictures and real-life and opinions about non-writing stuff.

but what you say about keeping your personal feed uncluttered and about limits on the number of potential fans makes a lot of sense.