Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Social media madness

I hate Facebook.  I should just be upfront about that.  Back in 2007 I thought it was the coolest thing since Star Trek, but now I loathe everything about it.  From its ever changing privacy policies to how it actually shares data with your "friends" and friends of your friends, its a continuous source of irritation to me. Especially because I can't avoid using it!  My family and close friends are on it. My work peers are on it.  And if you ever meet anyone new, the first thing they want to do is Facebook you.  Nevermind that its only full of lolcats, internet memes, and people's TMI.  It's the juggernaut of social media, and if you want to have a presence online, you gotta be on Facebook.

I thought Google+ would supplant Facebook at some point, but that's just not going to happen anytime soon.  Facebook has mastered one half of the law of social media inertia.  In short, once most regular folk are "at rest" on a social media property, they tend to stay at rest there.  Google+ would have to exert an overwhelming value proposition in order to capture the masses quickly as Facebook did.  Over time, Google's strategy is sound: integrate G+ into every Google property so people can't avoid it.  But, for now, Facebook is still the 800lb gorilla.

We techies represent the other half of the law of social media inertia (to continue beating a bad analogy to death).  We are in perpetual social media motion, and when introduced to new social media properties, we remain in motion.  Thus I am on Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram, et al.  Posting, cross-posting, editing, and keeping up with the various mediums can be EXHAUSTING.  But if you want to promote your online presence, its a necessary evil.  Recently, I stumbled upon a tool that made my life a LOT easier, at least with cross-posting.  Friends+Me.  In short, if I post something publicly on G+, Friends+Me pushes it to Twitter and Facebook within just a few moments.  It's pretty amazing and I've been a loyal user for the past few months.  That is, until last week when I got this in my Gmail:


Apparently, if I want to continue reliably using this wonderful social media solution, I need to pony up between $30 and $50/year.  As I read my options, I was all
Yeah. Like that.  So now what's a geek to do?  Tech pundits like +Robert Scoble contend that cross-posting is lazy.  Each social media property has a unique audience and deserves a unique post.  I used to disagree, but recently I have been deliberately posting limited audience items on G+ to avoid the Facebook re-post. Especially on items concerning religion, as my atheism doesn't go over too well with the FB crowd.  Maybe Scoble is right.  Maybe I'm just being cheap.  Who knows.  I'm sure I'll make a decision soon and I will proudly announce it right here on my humble blog...

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