Friday, November 25, 2011

An update on my social life

When I re-started this blog, my first entry was about how I completely embraced social media.

Since then, my social (media) life has undergone a few changes. Here's the skinny.

I quit using HootSuite. I just wasn't feeling it. I'm sure it's useful, but not for me.

I don't remember if I mentioned this in the first blog, but I also committed to Tweeting at least once a day for a year. Because of that, I find myself not checking out Facebook much anymore. I was on that all the time. I'm still logged in almost all the time, but I don't check it incessantly like I used to.

Having said that, I forgot to mention that through Facebook, I got connected to WeRead. That's pretty handy. In years past, I would read a book, then add that to a "Books I've Read" list on my personal Web site. I did something similar with movies I have seen. Because of these social media services, I have not had to update those pages in years.

Photo by cybershotking 
Because of social media, I have decided to completely stop updating my personal Web site. It used to be a pretty popular site in the late 1990s, when it was housed at Geocities. I had a reputation as a great resource/reference for all things related to the film "It's a Wonderful Life," and my site was built around my love for that film. That's how I got the nickname "iawlfan." I even wet so far as to secure that prefix for four e-mail services, so that nobody could take them. It's obnoxious, I know it. But I was trying to create an online identity even back then.

The more I think about it, the more I am starting to believe that social media is going to kill off the need for personal Web sites as we know them. In fact, mine is officially dead. I probably won't take it down, but I probably won't update it anymore either. So there is another major change in my online presence.

And at some point, I will probably blog about my love affair with "It's a Wonderful Life." Maybe I'll blog my old stories from my reporter days.

Back to the WeRead thing....I also signed up with GoodReads. I did it before I realized that it is pretty much the same service as WeRead. Having used GoodReads now for several months, I have decided to switch to that instead of using WeRead. GoodReads backs corporate stores like Barnes & Noble (and by extension, my Nook), and other online book stores. and crosses over to other social media.

Thanks to Mark Pannell, an old Jr. High School buddy and social media strategist, and a guy who had more influence on my life than I think he ever realized (and quite possibly more than he should have ;) I found out about a site called about.me. No www. Just type about.me in your search/address bar and you will get there.

What this site does is it connects all of your Web sites and social media account in one place. You can even order (and it costs) business cards featuring your about.me profile picture and web site address, and a QR Code that you photograph with your smart phone, and the phone will go directly to your about.me profile. I tingle at the possibilities.

I was so geeked out about this service that I convinced my boss to create an account for our program at the office. It is a genius, but so very basic idea and site.

I also signed up for Klout. This site somehow judges your "influence" (a.k.a. "popularity") in the realm of social media. I'm not sure I really trust this service, since my Klout number is higher than Mark's, who, like I said, is a social media strategist by trade. He has his Facebook and Foursquare accounts linked to his Klout account, and yet I have a higher Klout score. That doesn't seem right to me. I can't decide if I am going to keep this or not.

Interestingly, within a week of signing up for Klout, Facebook started incorporating it, and it started being mentioned on other sites as well. I had never heard of it before I found out about it through about.me.

I added Flickr.com to my social set, because they are part of something called Creative Commons. In short, that means other people allow you to use their photos, as long as you credit them. Sometimes, there are more qualifications, but in general, that's the basics. Most of the images I have used so far for my blogs have come from Creative Commons. I will still use Picasa for my own images, because I love the Google suite of tools so much.





I started using Google Plus when it was released to the general public, but I haven't used it much. I think it gives you more control with less imposition and advertisement, but until more people figure this out, it won't be extremely useful. More people have to decide to add this to their arsenal of social media sites, or just make the jump from Facebook to Google Plus, and I just don't see that happening. Like my wife said: "I don't need something else to take care of, and all of my friends are on Facebook. Why would I change?" It's a fair question.



This morning I added Tumblr to my arsenal. I added it out of curiosity, thinking it was intended as a place to collect themes. For example, I create a Tumblr account about It's a Wonderful Life, and the service goes out and finds me all things on the Web related to the film. Apparently, that is not what it does. Or maybe it is. I'm so new to it, I'm still trying to figure out what it is and how I will use it. Time will tell whether or not I keep this account.

Oh, and I almost forgot: I added a "Favorite Quotes" page to this blog. You can find it near the top of the right-hand column. There you will find some inspirational, entertaining, quirky, deep, and/or off-the-wall quotes. There is no plan to add a quote a week or anything like that. I will just add quotes that resonate with me as I come across them. Who knows what will show up there. It just depends on what I come across and my mood at the time.