Updated Nov/08 -- added link to Twitter Tips and Silk Charm post Some of the problems of Social Networking « Alec the Geek
issues with this type of online social networking
It's actually more than a year since I first blogged about social networking and the world of web 2.0. The web, and the practices that surround it, have moved on so I thought I update my thoughts as well. By a strange coincidence, just as I was starting this post I came across crazeegeekchick's thoughts on how to use social networking -- well worth reading before you carry on. Generally social networking has been a huge consumer of my attention and time; and to be honest I don't think the medium given me a very good return on my investment, except as a learning exercise.
  1. LinkedIn has become an online list of business contacts. But of limited use because I can't add my own notes to profiles. I have had some networking activity -- but to be honest it has not made a huge amount of difference to my working life. I think now the number of people on the service is becoming so large anyway that it's becoming less useful, but I hope I'm wrong Updated 13/Nov/08 -- You can now add notes to your LinkedIn contacts
  2. Facebook has become pretty pointless. I don't have time to become a zombie and most of the other stuff I do use is not terribly useful. e.g. I just became a facebook fan of Gordon Ramsay -- but so what? Nothing happens much.
  3. Blogging gives me a certain amount of satisfaction and I often refer back to my old blog posts for information. I also know that a few people have found help from ramblings so I count the blog as a success. However it's rare for me to get over 100 readers a day so it's not a huge success
  4. Lifestream (twitter, jaiku,identi.ca). This is very distracting and I need to find some way to stop keep looking at my friendfeed stream. However on the positive side it does provide me some of the support that I miss being a solo worker. It's probably a good idea to whittle down my 'posse' to as few as 10 people to reduce the noise; question is which 10 -- I'm generally pretty choosy who I "friend". Problogger has a site introducing Twitter, and by extension most of the other micro blogging site, and Silkcharm also posted some suggestions
  5. Geo Location (e.g. brightkite, dopplr). I am just so over that. In Australia it's hard to use anyway because we have limited network coverage and I don't have an iPhone. I keep thinking they a potentially huge personal security issue as well
  6. I have accounts on delicious and flickr which I find useful. Delicious in particular has proved very useful professionally and personally.
As I mentioned earlier the major upside is that I now think know a lot more than the general population about this stuff -- perhaps I can become a media pundit? Easier than doing real work, talking of which...