My friend Andrea Donahue got to know me back during my Livejournal.com days, when my blog was really more a diary that people could respond to (so scary). Back then, very few people used their real names or pictures online, which afforded a kind of freedom that is a lot harder to gain in this era of real names and face…book.
Of course, back when I was using Livejournal, I wasn’t doing too much else online. I had a MySpace account but I never really got totally addicted to it. I tested out Friendster and Orkut and they were okay.
Now of course, the story is entirely different. It is Livejournal that has petered out for me, and in its stead is this site, Twitter, Facebook, and even Google Plus. All of that inspired Andrea to ask me what of all of those platforms was my favorite and why. Maybe it’s because I have the kind of lag that can only come after a great vacation, but my gut reaction is, “Uh…all of them?” Since that is entirely not helpful, I thought I would give you some of my pros and cons on the different portions of the online world. Maybe doing that will help me rank these properly!
So I consider blogging to be a part of the social media world, but not everyone agrees with that evaluation. To me, you are sending out content that people can comment on. Hence – social. Although of course you could always remove the commenting option…but clearly that would be *anti* social.
What do I love about blogging? I love reading what other people have to say. I love learning about things and thinking about things that never would have occurred to me otherwise.
If you want cons about blogging, I guess I’d have to say that even though comments are a part of the equation, it’s still really about 1 person sending thoughts out to other people. While comments are great, your blog site can still exist without them. Blogs are also time-consuming, both on the creation side and on the absorption side.
I still can’t decide if I like Facebook after all of these years. There are so many great things about it. I have gotten in touch with people I probably never would have heard from again, for example. I love being able to share videos and pictures.
On the other hand, Facebook has also put me in touch with people that maybe would have remained pleasant memories but now are updating me about their baby’s poopy underwear.
And don’t even get me started on the privacy changes, then more changes, and then even more changes.
In a blink, I’d have to say that there is a lot to Facebook that I like, probably more than the amount of stuff I dislike, but I think I like the blog world a bit better.
OK, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that of all of the platforms I’m using right now, Google Plus is still my least favorite. While there are a lot of great people over there, and while there is a lot of great content, I still feel as though Google Plus is kind of a blog site on steroids. There are pictures, long posts, videos, whole photo albums – it’s so much content that it’s really hard to skim through a news stream, particularly if you have more than maybe, 7 friends. Yes, you can search by circle, but who has that kind of time?
It is neat that you can sort people by circles, which I still haven’t done, but to me Google Plus hinges on being less social compared to blogging. Indeed, it just seems like a lot of people talking loudly at the same time.
At least to me.
I would never have believed, a year ago, that I would like Twitter as much as I do. But I really do like it. And in fact, after going through this exercise, I’m going to stun you and say that Twitter may just be my most favorite Social Media platform. Why? Well, I think the chat function is what sets it apart. Now sure, you can do a huddle or a hang-out on Google Plus, and sure you can converse in a comments thread, but nothing really beats the real time back-and-forth of a good Twitter chat. Chatting is what showed me the true value of Twitter, and Twitter is how I truly connected with so many great people.
Of course there are downsides to Twitter. It’s harder to share things like photos and videos and there’s that pesky character limit thing going on. But so far as Social Media goes, I think Twitter has my vote.
Now it’s your turn. What other platforms do you use that I didn’t evaluate here? What are the pros and cons? What are your favorites?
Let’s compare notes!
Image by Dan Brady. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/danyul