Thursday, 29 December 2011

2012 Resolution: Giving up pointless #SocialMedia

One of the most precious commodities we have is, time. It's down to us to decide how we use it, so we can get the most out of life. As 2011 draws to an end, and like the end of most previous years, it's time to reflect and evaluate a few things. Having done so, and thought about the big things, there remains a niggly little thorn in my side. It has become apparent that I have wasted an enormous amount of time on certain social media applications. In my opinion, the social web should enhance our lives and compliment our behaviours, help us communicate better (receive and transmit) with others. It shouldn't be used to inflate our egos, follow the latest social trends just for the hell of it, or worse still, detrimentally impact what we would normally do.

Therefore, as one of my smaller New Year's resolutions, I will be dumping some unnecessary social web applications.

  • First to go is Delicious and other such bookmarking sites; I'm not and SEO type and have no personal need for this type of thing. It suits some, but not me.
  • Second are the geo-location apps. I dumped Scavenger and Gowalla a while ago; I've not used Facebook Places; yet persisted with Foursquare. I checked that I had joined Foursquare at the end of 2009, I've amassed 21 badges, 13 Mayorships and checked-in 1,382 times. Why?! Businesses and brands have not offered any incentive (most don't get it); and I'm passed the age of "sticker charts" to stimulate my intrinsic motivators.
  • Thirdly, and whilst we're on the motivational, ego, status thing; Klout can go and whistle. I'm no longer going to check my score (their definition of "influence" needs some review), I don't want perks and I am not a "Do you know who I am?" type either.
  • Other social media in the pending tray, awaiting the bin are Posterous (lost it's way), LastFM (auto scrobbling only) and FriendFeed (it's stayed the same for the last three years). Facebook specifically, and in my opinion, is one to now be very, very careful of. My (and your) personal data is being stored, and even though privacy settings may disable visibility of your personal thoughts, desires and pictures being shared with the outside world, they will still reside on a database somewhere, probably Palo Alto.  You won't find me creating a timeline....and I'm not letting my daughters near it....despite their pleading.
13 Mayorships up for grabs, including ASOS, Northants County Cricket Club, Northampton Train Station and
The Oooloo!

However, there are some social web applications which do enhance my life and make communications much easier. Google have made, and continue to make, some great improvements and I'll continue to use Blogger, Google+ and YouTube. I can hear what some of you maybe saying about data and Google. However, I am pretty careful on what personal info' I place on the web, and rightly or wrongly, I have a higher degree of trust with them.

Twitter stays, purely for consumption of real-time info, and for conversation when it's necessary....not for transmit purposes. Zeebox stays, because it enhances TV viewing; Slideshare too, for sharing and downloading quality information in presentation format; LinkedIn for business contacts; Instagram for ease of sharing pictures and Twitterfeed to link everything up.

There you go. That felt better just writing it down.
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