It's time to revisit and evaluate the utility of our social networks. Let me take a personal look at the three main ones I use (in addition, of course, to this blog): Facebook; Twitter; and LinkedIn.
If it were only to keep up with people's birthdays, Facebook would remain a winner, even though I am willing to concede that I am not closely connected to all of my 4046 friends. But, it is fun to see what people are doing and thinking about; watching families grow; and getting links to interesting stuff. Also, there is no better way I know to reconnect with people from previous stages of your life -- schools, places you have visited or lived in, jobs. It is a great way to share my own photos from interesting places and to see those of my friends. Finally, this blog is republished there as a note. Please friend me here.
Twitter is my librarian. While about 5000 people follow me, I only choose to follow 167. For the most part, these are people or organizations who link to articles and websites that I am likely to find of interest. I no longer have to read any journals in fields that I care about. If something good has been published, someone on my list is bound to tweet it. Also, this blog is fed automatically to my Twitter feed. Please follow me here.
And then there is LinkedIn,who efficacy I have yet to figure out. Look at this summary page:
While this is a wonderful example of the power of exponential functions, what other value does it offer? I find Linkedin to be clunky to use and ugly to boot. But, I usually say yes to anyone who wants link to me, in the hope they find it useful.
What are your favorites? Have you dropped off of any sites? If so, why? If you choose to answer, please indicate your age, as I think patterns of use differ by generation.