A bit of a grab bag here, since I'm bagged from zooming around Calgary today, in insane traffic, with all the construction that HASN'T been worked on all summer now being worked on. I should have stayed home to ride my bike. And run afterward. One thing I did was to update my blogroll. Look for new names!
I recently signed up for a Twitter account and have accumulated a whole 31 or 32 or 33 followers. I'm following 86 Twitter accounts. Some funny, some newsy, some practical, some people I know personally, some I know of, and some strangers. I've been musing about LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, wondering how they best go together, so I'm going to noodle on about it a bit. Feel free to talk about your experience in comments.
I started blogging first, on October 27, 2007. This is post number 1267 for those who care about such things. It was a fitness blog at first, and since then it's branched out to whatever I feel like writing about at the time. It took a bit to get used to the Blogger platform, and while it's got better for dealing with photos, it's still pretty primitive. I've come to really like blogging, and have met some really interesting people through blogging. Some of them have moved on and I miss them (Loose Moose I have some links for you! Or search the Calgary Herald for moose photo and video.)
It's interesting watching which blogs get read, though I don't really believe Blogger's stats, and which get comments. One thing that amuses me is that by far the number one post for attracting spam is a dull technical swim post. No idea why.
The blog is the main source of my stuff, if you happen to be interested in my ramblings. I always like getting comments from my readers, and almost always respond. I've got a blogroll on the side that I regularly use to keep track of other blogs. Who goes on there? People that I like to read, that update regularly. I admit, regularly is used a bit loosely.
LinkedIn is pretty much a business related tool. There's a nice photo of me looking all business-like in a tie and everything. I list work skills, and with only a few exceptions I'll link to anyone I've worked with. I keep it up to date with work skills, and I'm starting to use it a bit more often to browse business related topics, since that recently got added. I don't use it for social interaction unless there is no other channel.
Then, after a great deal of musing about it, I got a Facebook account. Here's the very first comment I made. You'll need to scroll down a bit. Fb has been fun, though eternal vigilance is need about privacy settings. I've got it locked down pretty good, I think. Only Friends see anything. I don't do many company likes. I won't respond to invitations for games, and about the only 3rd party apps that know about my fb account are Zite and Twitter. I don't have a lot of information about me on it. Some of what's there is deliberately wrong.
I've struggled with photos on it, and have essentially given up. The only photos I put there now are the cover page to show off Snapseed art. For a while I was doing book reviews, but that was an experiment. If I'm going to do one it's going to be on the blog. Which reminds me I need to write up The China Study.
I like Facebook for the little snippets of people's lives. Chats. Witty (or semi-witty) comments. It keeps me feeling a bit connected to people that I've met in one sense or another but who happen to live elsewhere now. Places like South Africa, Norway, Victoria, Melbourne, Ontario (lots), lots of places in BC, Colorado (though I haven't personally met any there yet, a visit will happen sometime. Preferably when the kids are out of diapers. Well, SUAR's are already, unless that recent thing goes really bad.) and lots of other places in Canada and USA.
Who will I link to on Facebook? That's a good one. For people out of my past, it has to be someone that I'd be interested in getting to know again. Would I go for lunch or coffee with them? I generally lean towards people that I have actually met, but there are lots of exceptions, mainly from the blogger world. There are some family members on there, and that was a surprising big thing for me, given that I haven't been much of a family guy for most of my life. I've reconnected with some cousins, and that's been fun. I'm not likely to connect with people I've merely worked with, unless we've become actual friends.
Twitter was a bit of a spur of the moment thing. For the longest time I couldn't think of why I'd want a Twitter account given the 140 character limitation. If there's anything I say, it's almost certainly going to take more than 140 characters. More than 140 words, and I'm pretty sure I've exceeded 140 paragraphs a few times. Then someone said that it was the way to find food trucks, and that you didn't need to actually say anything.
And yes, it is a pretty good way to find the food trucks, which is sometimes an important thing to know. It's become a major tool for getting various kinds of news, including traffic reports. There's probably a way to get those on their own page or channel, but I haven't figured that out yet. I'm also still figuring out some of the finer points of the Twitter world. Generally what I put there is a notice that I've blogged, along with the link and a teaser to entice people to read. That gets copied to Facebook. Both are the main tools I use to drive traffic to my blog.
There are a few chats or responses to tweets, and that's about it. With so few followers there isn't much point in retweeting something. If you're interested in following, there is a button on my blog to do that. It will be interesting to see if I pick up any followers after this is published.
Foreshadowing, or a teaser about upcoming blogs. I'm always thinking about blog topics.
There was a recent vote in the Canadian House of Commons to study when life begins. It's a back door to reopening the abortion debate. It was defeated. Now there is an upcoming one about selective sex abortions. That will be a long and well thought out post dealing with the murky gray middle. It will likely piss off lots of people, you know, the simpletons who think the issue is black and white.
There was a doctor in the news recently talking about graduated drivers licenses, in the sense of gradually restricting driving privileges as people get older. My take on it is that everybody ought to be tested to failure in a simulator every 3 to 5 years or so, with licenses removed as necessary. I don't care how old you are, or how it empowers you to be able to drive, if you aren't safe you shouldn't be behind the wheel. In a related story, driverless cars are being tested, and I for one can't wait.
The death of choice and outright stupidity in modern politics. Unless Linda slips a tranquilizer in my meal, this is likely to be a full blooded, foaming at the mouth diatribe. Probably mostly Canadian politics, but lots and LOTS of examples in USA.
Plus the ongoing fitness notes, photos as it pleases me, some burbling about wine, and food, and anything else that comes to mind.
Now it's your turn. How do you use Social media?