Have you ever watched the movie The Jerk, starring Steve Martin? There are too many scenes that are brilliantly funny for me to say I have one favorite scene, but there is a particular scene that I want to draw your attention to. And it’s right …. here.
In case you didn’t watch, it’s the “that’s all I need” scene. Martin’s character (the jerk) is leaving his mansion, his wife, and all of his possessions. Well, all of his possessions except for his paddle ball game. And his matches. And his remote control…and…well, you get the idea.
This scene popped into my head because of what’s going on between my brain and the social media world in which I live. Let me explain.
My Blog – That’s all I need!
Even before I started to really dabble on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, I was blogging. I had a Livejournal blog for a long time, and the internet is strewn with various blogs I started and then left behind. I always thought that if I could get a blog going, with a regular stream of comments, that would be all I’d need.
Well of course, I also need LinkedIn. But my blog and LinkedIn, that’s all I need!
LinkedIn was an easy one to get involved with. I mean, it’s basically a networking site for your work, right? I could do that. And hey, since it’s very worky, if I just import my blog posts in, which people can read at their whim, then that’s not really bothering anyone. Since I don’t have to actively do anything, I don’t really feel like I’m shoving my blog down anyone’s throat.
Although you can’t forget Twitter. OK, my blog, LinkedIn, and Twitter – that’s ALL I need. I don’t need anything else.
Well, I finally decided that I wanted to try out Twitter. I realized that I didn’t really know how to converse on Twitter in a way that would make me seem, like, human. So I decided to start linking to my posts from Twitter. I mean, everyone does that, right? And I promote my posts very very rarely. Just a little leaf on the stream. So what harm could that be?
Well of course I need Facebook. But really, my blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, that’s all I need. Oh, and this Google Plus. Why are you looking at me like I’m such kind of jerk??
So yeah, now Google Plus has launched, and people like Chris Brogan and Jay Baer are talking about how great it is for blog traffic. People are already saying they’re using Google Plus a lot more than they’re using Twitter and Facebook. I still want to let people know when I have a new post up, but do I really want to link to my post, the same post, in four different places?
It makes me feel kind of like a jerk.
This all of course leads to the bigger issue, which is how people are engaging across all of these different platforms. Take, say, me, for example. I write here, I tweet, and I Facebook (is that a verb yet?). My Twitter community has migrated here, to Facebook, and to LinkedIn, and now we are all reconnecting with each other on Google Plus too. If you suffer the grave misfortune of following me everywhere, you could potentially see me promoting the same exact post in very similar ways at very similar times in four different places.
That makes me look like I’m obsessed with me, doesn’t it? It makes me look like I am milking one thought for all it’s worth. And it’s not showing an awareness of you and what you might want to talk about. There’s a small chance you might not want to talk about, like, me…isn’t there?
The other side of the argument, of course, is that there are people on each platform who don’t overlap. I might catch your attention in one place but not in the fast-moving Twitter stream. Do I like bringing you over to my house and chatting about stuff like this? Yep. I sure do. And hey, even if you do follow me everywhere, we probably won’t see everything we post there, right?
I feel itchy.
When will enough be enough?
There is no right or wrong here. I’m not saying you’re a jerk if you promote 5 times a day to all of these platforms, and I’m not saying you’re a jerk if you don’t do any of this stuff. However, I have to wonder how this issue will continue to evolve. What will we do when the NEXT next platform comes in? Will we just keep posting the same link everywhere, till we’re promoting our blogs on 17 different sites? How would we even have time to talk to each other?
It is social media, right?
Of course, I could once again be on the entirely wrong track. Set me straight, won’t you?
This is post #86 in the Engagement Series. Thank you for reading!
Image by torun basu. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/torun