When I created this website, I really wasn't going to start a blog here. I swear. But then I read a friend's Facebook update, or should I say updates. It started with one sentence about a morning on the beach. Ten individual entries later and three screens on my TweetDeck and I felt like I needed a shower to get the sand out of my hair. I now knew what she ate, wore, saw , did (and it wasn't that interesting) and smelled.
Is that what Facebook updates were made for? Really?
So how did that little story get me to start blogging? I wanted to tell everyone just that -- Facebook updates are not for telling stories -- blogs are. But in order to tell all I have to tell about why I believe that is true, I need a place to write it, and Facebook didn't seem like the right place (of course I will create a Facebook update with a link to this blog). So here we are.
My main message here is that we are not efficient. We often use our various media outlets incorrectly. We send emails with one word: "Thanks" when no reply would make the recipient waste less time opening an almost blank email (Please, please, start using EOM in the subject [End of Message] and save us that extra click). We build web sites with thousands of distractions when all we really want is for the user to buy the product, or make a phone call or read the blog. We find ways to circumvent a 140 character limitation on Twitter by using tiny URLs to link to pages that actually say what we want to say in many more characters (okay, granted, that's efficient) -- but we write 10 tweets to complete the thought, and we use our Facebook updates to tell the story of how we went to the beach and ate watermelon and got sunburn and walked our dog.
Some people have told me they think that Facebook has lost its charm, or at least it's cracked in places. This self-inflicted Facebook Spam has taken it's toll. Yes, you can always remove or block the people who bore you, but that's just another task on your plate. Facebook is a forum for communication and it should be used wisely. Same with Twitter. If Tweets were meant to be 140 characters X 10, then they would be 1400 characters. Like a blog.
All I'm saying is find the right medium for the right message. And think about your audience. Google + allows you to easily send updates to circles -- meaning that people who care that you ate watermelon can get one update, while people who don't will never know and will be just a tad better off because of it. Facebook doesn't have to be tedious and neither does Twitter (I love Twitter, by the way [bmeadan]).
When you want to say something, say it in the right place. If you need to do it in a blog and you don't have one, let us know, we'll see what we can do to help you improve social media by blogging. And in the immortal words of Tommy Chong, "Pick your venue, man."
Bryan Meadan invented the Internet. Just kidding. But as a Sociologist and Web Developer he has been using sociology as a tool to create better sites since 1996. He builds exclusively with the Drupal Content Management Platform, and lectures and consults for businesses and non-profits around the globe.