Thursday, February 23, 2012

Overwhelmed Online?

It seems that as soon as I learn and feel comfortable with one social media venue or kind of software, there’s an update or a different version. Or there’s some new or increasingly popular site I keep hearing about either via a post, article or actual recommendation.

From Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr to Pinterest, from LinkedIn to Plaxo to Google+ to Friend Stream, to content sites such as The Huffington Post and Mashable, how can we be everywhere, keep up with everything...from all the messages/articles/posts to changes in how to use the sites? How do we distill the information we really want to know from the vast sea? How often are new features/layouts that valuable or better than what came before?

Case in point: Facebook’s relatively new Timeline. I haven’t heard a single good thing about it. I have heard many complaints, especially that it’s confusing to look at and makes it more difficult to find the bits of info you’re interested in. I’ve checked out a few friends that have, and agree. I hear virtual groans when friends are asked to switch over. Yet I fear I’ll have to succumb in the near future, because I don’t think we can opt out. It’s an encroaching tidal wave, hanging over our heads. Is it really an unimprovement (my word), or will I and others like or even prefer it once we suffer through and complete the learning curve?

Then there’s Pinterest, which I’ve only heard good things about, but after an admittedly brief visit seemed too busy and a probable time suck. I keep hearing more about the importance of making sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and recently more about being sure not to accept every request to Link (but only those of people you truly want to network with). I was surprised to see that one of my clients sends my LinkedIn profile link--instead of a link to my website--when recommending or introducing me to their clients.

On the other hand, if I don’t stay up to date on new technologies, I feel like a left out Luddite, old fashioned and unhip (my word). Like the world is passing me by. Just glancing at Wikipedia’s list of social networking sites is mind boggling. How many have you heard of?

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