I bit the bullet today and made myself a Facebook page. I’d actually created it a few months ago, but I didn’t publish it because it seemed a bit, well, extravagant – I have a Facebook profile, I’m on all the usual social networks, plus I have various about.me type pages. What was the point of a Facebook page as well?But my social media world is starting to become a bit too much of a mashup for me to do anything particularly effectively. If you’re interested in seeing the page, it’s here under the imaginatively titled vanity url alisongow.journalist.
The need to put a bit more organisation into my social media life is something that’s been bothering me for a while.
Take Twitter: I have used it for more than 6 years now and it’s a different beast to what it started out as (of course it is!) but the way I was using it hadn’t evolved quite as much.
So, for example, I’ve got 5,000-odd followers, some of whom are actually Really Real People (there are also some Really Odd People, and I’d prefer them not to follow me, but that’s for another post).
Some are journalists, some are from what I tend to call In My Liverpool Home, or from Wales, and follow me either because they know me or because we move in the same circles and geographic spaces, as well as the same digital spaces.
But the intersection of those worlds isn’t of that much interest, I guess.
I’ve had to change the way I think about Twitter; I genuinely used it as a micro-blog initially, then it became a crowdsourcing tool, then a replacement RSS feed, then a way to promote my news title’s journalism. And, of course, it’s always been a noise I couldn’t live without.
But, that means I now think of what followers are looking for from me more than before and so the micro-blog part of things has gradually decreased, as as the amount I tweet.
Often, I can’t tweet about work things, interesting as they might be, because it isn’t the right platform, or the right time.
I can’t get involved in long tweet-debates any more because I don’t tend to be on Twitter as often – I might be in meetings, or driving.
Also, I notice some people use Twitter in an incredibly focused way – just to talk about journalism, for example. That would drive me nuts – I enjoy posting pix from my days out-n-about, for example, and I’d struggle to be quite so single-focused and earnest.
However, things evolve all the time.
Then it struck me that while I’m refining the way I use Twitter all the time, I’ve done little to change how I use Facebook.
That is a place where a lot of my non-journo life spills out, from the problems of renovating an old property to the perpetual war waged against sheep breaking into the garden, to – yep, sorry – my cats. Look, I never said it was an interesting spill-out of my life.
But I felt that was limiting my potential to use Facebook; having said that, I don’t really think my old school friends give a rat’s ass about my Thoughts on Journalism.
So I thought I’d experiment with a page, and it was born today. I suspect it will be very handy too, for mini-blogging, and I’ve also set up an ifttt recipe to auto-post my Diigo bookmarks to the page.
My friend Dilyan is very good at cutting to the heart of things with his questions, and he did it again today; I’m not sure I have an answer…
I’ll see how it goes.