I’ve been active on the Internet almost since its public inception. I ran a bb using Qmodem, I subscribed to Prodigy, Compuserve (I loved that service), and AOL. I migrated to the World Wide Web as soon as possible. I went from dial-up to DSL the week it was offered in my community.
I have a MySpace account – still. Tom and I are still there, you should come friend me, we’re lonely. I’ve had my Facebook account since it required a .edu email. I have a Twitter account. I was on Google+ before it opened to the general public. I’ve done Classmates, Blogster, LiveJournal, DeviantArt, MeetUp, Questia, and Goodreads. I still use LinkedIn, Open Salon, and LibraryThing. I have accounts with Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, iCloud, Google Drive, SugarSync, Skydrive, Dropbox. I like technology. I use the Internet.
I used to approach social media sites like Goldilocks; Google+, too quiet; Twitter, too busy; Facebook, just right. And in many ways, that still applies. In the time it has taken me to write this, my tabs show 41 tweets, 8 notifications to Facebook, and nothing on Google+. Many of the tweets are by the likes of John Cusack, The New Yorker, and The Department of Education, Keith Oblermann. On Facebook, the notifications are from people I have designated as close friends, but the feed itself is filled with suggested pages, and posts from “liked” pages. The other day, I went through thirty-two posts before getting to one by a friend! What the hell? I have considered un-liking every one of them! But periodically, I get information I like from them. Damn it. It’s a conundrum. And now it seems Facebook wants to move away from personal connection into an information-based system, with too many commercials. So, that’s why I don’t watch TV, or listen to the radio.
Bastards. In my insanely busy life sometimes connecting online is important to me. So, what’s a girl to do? I’ve been looking at this all week. I signed up for Bebo, but yeah, it makes Google+ look too busy to keep up with! And no one in my gmail contacts has an account. No one! Crickets, I tell you!
In trying to find a good work-around for this growing issue, I have discovered some things:
The Facebook app for my iPad displays fewer personal posts than my laptop. And on my phone, I miss everything but the ads, no matter how I set it. So, yeah. No.
Hootsuite works. From Hootsuite I can look at Facebook without the BS, I can read Twitter, follow specific hashtags, and access direct messages. It includes MySpace. But, it’s a process to be learned and Google+ isn’t accessible, unless you set up a page (like a Facebook like page). Posting to all of my social media accounts in a single click is easy, well, except Google+. So Hootsuite might be a good choice for some people.
Flipboard is an app available on the iPad, iPhone, and Android based devices. It combines social media with news, hobby, and entertainment sources and creates “magazines” for the user. And I miss nothing. It even allows me to save most things to refer back to – so if I see something that one of my liked pages posts (say a recipe for an all natural tick repellant), I am able to save it into a personal magazine. But there’s a but. I find that I have trouble posting to Facebook directly from Flipboard. I am able to use a work-around by posting to Twitter and Flipboard posts to both. I have just added Googl+ and LinkedIn to this, so I will have to update y’all as to how that works.
I downloaded iSocial, but immediately discarded it – I couldn’t change the font size and I have old eyes. And it doesn’t turn when I turn my iPad (rendering it a useless app when I am out-of-doors with sunglasses on).
So, for now, I am planning to increase my presence on Google+ moving to make it my primary social media site. I can target specific groups, make both public and private posts with the click of a mouse. I will decrease my presence on Facebook gradually. I will keep my Cultural Salad page on Facebook (and if you haven’t liked it you should).