A person I follow on twitter has I followed everyone he follows, some 5000 people, so that he can start fresh. He’s trying to get more bang for his buck, and recognized that he was caught in the wrong feedback loop. He was more interested in getting more followers than in getting value from people he did follow. Reading some of the responses makes me feel old. I’ve been blogging since 2003, on Facebook and delicious since 2004, and tweeting since 2007. Most of the people who responded mention joining twitter in the last year or two.
I feel their pain, though. I’m constantly reevaluating what I’m doing in these networks. Who should I friend in Facebook versus Twitter? I’m constantly thinking about dumping Facebook. I blog on my own domain while most new folks join .com domains. Am I promoting myself or learning? How much time should I spend in these networks? I don’t have easy answers. The answer is 42. And the answer is yes.
I am promoting my work, but it’s not about me. I’m part of a larger cause. I’m also promoting my school–honestly. And I’m trying to educate about my field, about women in CS, etc. So there’s a little selfishness in my social media use, which makes me a little squeamish because I don’t like being artificial. I try not to be. I try to say what I think, and if people like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t.
I switched fields a couple of years ago, which has meant rebuilding. What I’m finding is that there’s a core of people who started blogging, etc. about the same time I did. If they’re still at it, we follow each other in various media. Many higher ed folks have stopped connecting with me and I with them because what I say and what they say are no longer related. While I follow a lot of k-12 people, not that many follow me, or so it seems. And CS people tend not to be on social media, which strikes me as problematic when we have an image problem.
I do find blogging valuable. I like the chats on twitter. I get a lot of information there that I find useful. I wish more of my colleagues tweeted and/or blogged. I’ve enjoyed connecting with the few who do. And I wish I could figure out what to do with Facebook. It’s a constant reassessing, I guess.