I’m not. I thought the idea was cool, and there are some definite great social media or networking sites out there, but really, it’s a pain in the ass.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have memberships (some considered to be a bit more exclusive) with so many different social sites that if I were to spend time updating all of them just once a day, it would probably take me three to four hours.
I will admit this is mostly my own mistake, something comes along that looks really interesting and I get curious, sign up, and for the most part, promptly forget the site exists.
I don’t have the time, desire, or good enough data plan, to justify updating most of the sites I am on, whether they are portfolio sites such as Krop, Coroflot, Cargo, or social sites like Facebook (I may update my status a couple of times a week, and check it maybe twice a day.) Last.fm, or designer sites like dribbble, curioos (though they invited me, and I really like the site, I just have to design more experimental things for fun), or the sites that combine social, portfolio and networking like LinkedIn.
There are a couple that I like. Specifically, I enjoy using Twitter and Pinterest. Now the reasons as to why I don’t use the others are long, and I’m not going to bore you with my negative personal opinions. I’d rather talk about the ones I like and why.
I like Twitter, and for the most part, I think I use it like most people. When I first started using it, I initially tried promoting my services as a freelancer, realizing very quickly two things: I hate selling myself and secondly I hate when other people try and flog themselves.
So, with that misstep out of the way I simply decided to use it to connect, and in the couple years that I’ve been on Twitter, mostly using it in the second year, I have tweeted a bunch, followed a bunch and been followed by a bunch. Numbers don’t matter, relationships do.
I have built relationships and friendships with a number of people. Some of these relationships have led to paying gigs, but mostly and more importantly, they led to friendships. I have had beers and fajitas with some, drank and karaoked with others, received Christmas/Holiday cards, been invited to weddings, and received a lot of support and encouragement when I was basically stuck in a small rural town with no friends. Now that I am in a city where I can actively seek out like minded folks, I have plans to have beers with a few, and start a couple of design realted groups with others.
Twitter was my connection to people like me, people I like, and people who were loads different but had something interesting to say or teach. I have helped people with relationship issues, proofread resumes, designed flyers, websites, or other things for them, spent time shooting the breeze, and these relationships would not have existed without Twitter.
I was very reluctant to join when it first came out, and when I first signed up I barely logged on, I just didn’t have the time. Now when I need to be productive and focused I turn it off. I find it too distracting because I like to engage in conversations and interact with people, and though it may be through a keyboard primarily, emotions can transfer through words. That’s why we all still love music, movies, and literature.
I’m glad I joined, and eventually started being active. It’s led to some jobs which is fantastic, but more importantly, if I dropped down to only a few followers and my Klout score, and all that other ego stroking BS went down or disappeared altogether, the ones that remained would almost certainly be the same ones I have drank with, shared personal stories with, and genuinely interacted with.
So far there has only been one new site that has kept my attention, and for a far different reason than Twitter.
Now Pinterest does something that a lot of other sites have claimed to do well and in my opinion haven’t.
I simply surf the net as usual, see something I like/think is funny/think you’ll think is funny/clever/beautiful/interesting/you get the point. Click a bookmarklet and all the images that are on a page show up in a nice simple grid pattern. I click the one I like, add a few words, categorize it, and continue about my day.
The concept is nothing new, but what I like about Pinterest is that it acts as a virtual moodboard if you want it to, and it’s simple to find other posts that are similar, you can follow/repin and in a lot of regards, it sort of acts like a visual tumblr.
What I really dig is the ability to follow categories, and that I only have to take a few seconds to post something that I like.
Pinterest is fairly new, and already I have discovered some really neat things. The challenge for me with a site like Pinterest is to make sure that I follow/repin/engage in the site on the same level that people are engaging with me on the site. I’ve been trying to make a habit of spending a half hour/hour a couple times a week to add things and engage.
I am anything but against social sites, I just have found it to overwhelming to even try to keep up with all of the ones I’m supposed to be a part of. I’ve learned to research and check out a site before joining it now. I want to make sure that, odd as it may sound, I can commit the requisite amount of time and effort to it.
What sites are you a part of? What sites are your favourite and why? How do you deal with staying active in the sites you dig?