A Social Media Ecology of the Web
A Social Media Ecology of the Web
Over the past couple of years I have been quietly carrying out a number of social media experiments across Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, WordPress, Quora, StackExchange, Flickr, YouTube and Crowd sourcing sites like ConceptFeedback. Partly to get myself truly au fait with Social Media in all its glory. It has taken time but not too much time… and I can certainly see value (and a rising Klout score – currently 45 (:)
I am gradually working out an ecology of my webplaces and how I can use them effectively
I have found the internet is a great place to:
Of course the web is a great place to communicate… in a sense everything we do on there is about communication. However we can use the tools we have in many different ways.
- Friends Posts: Valuable for keeping up with small closely connected groups – friends, ex-colleagues. I have a policy that I only friend people whose “face” I have physically seen… i.e. for me it truly is “FACEbook”. Seems to have worked so far. I have about 300 friends… a good ecological number apparently! If I get someone who I have not met asking to be my friend I politely suggest they may wish to subscribe to my public posts.
- Public Posts: Useful for wider dispersal of ideas to subscribers e.g. blog posts
- Facebook Pages: Good for Campaigns/Companies/disparate groups that aren’t going to want too much conversation e.g. Birmingham Sun
- Facebook Groups: Useful for getting a movement going… e.g. Malmesbury Cycling Campaign or my most sucessful Make Malmesbury Better
To be honest I am still slightly unclear when a Facebook Group or Page is more appropriate… still exploring that one. I find it is important to keep the groups closed to develop good unspammy communities.. it takes a little more moderation but it is worth it.
One thing I am clear about is that Facebook is not an ideal place to rely on as a “store” for links and posts. Much better to do that on your own blog pages or somewhere like pinterest where the focus is specifically on curating. On facebook it is almost impossible to refind stuff later… so don’t use it for that. This has been a hard habit to break for me … but I am gradually getting there.
Another Facebook truth is that posts with attached visuals get shared and commented on much more – this is true across the web but particularly for facebook. I have a feeling this was the UX strategy behind Facebook’s forced shift to the more visual “timeline”.
- Basic PR, complaining and networking: Posting blog posts, communicating with friends, complaining to companies (amazing how quick they get back)
- Campaigns/Evangelizing – great for promoting things you love – e.g. #Balsamiq. Helping with the Chile Earthquake campaign.
- Networked Page: I try and build my network regularly. Keep an eye on who has looked at my page. For a short while I paid for one of their subscriptions. However I didn’t seem to get much value out of it. Must be gold dust to recruiters though.
- Public Page: I publicize this page everywhere. It is my public cv. Clients now see to prefer this to my more formal cv. I guess the disadvantage is that it is not customised to the audience. So sometimes I send on a formal cv afterwards.
- Groups: Linkedin Groups have a terrible User Experience. However the point is that the “punters” are there. You need to go where your audience is. I have build a very successful group on Linkedin focused around UX remote work. I keep it private and very moderated. Get responses to almost every question I post. It feels like my personal counselling service on some days!
- Company Page Every company should have a page on Linkedin!
- Blog – whenever you can… this should be your store of everything you do on the web. And yes I need to take my own advice on this one. Keep the blog focused (see next item on how to use pages to do this).
- Pages – Create carefully curated pages… these can be “about pages”, “Portfolio pages” or they could be random post/landing pages about things that are slightly tangential to the main focus of the blog.
What have I tried and rejected
What I still need to explore
Tags: Social Media
Musings on: UX, Work and some Magical Tools in the interests of Useful Technology.
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