We'll see | Matt Zimmerman

a potpourri of mirth and madness

Optimizing my social network

I’ve been working to better organize my online social network so as to make it more useful to me and to the people I know.

I use each social networking tool in a different way, and tailor the content and my connections accordingly. I don’t connect with all of the same people everywhere. I am particularly annoyed by social networks which abuse the word “friend” to mean something wholly different than it means in the rest of society. If I’m not someone’s “friend” on a certain website, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. It just means that the information I exchange with them fits better somewhere else.

Here is the arrangement I’ve ended up with:

  • If you just want to hear bits and pieces about what I’m up to, you can follow me on identi.ca, Twitter or FriendFeed. My identi.ca and Twitter feeds have the same content, though I check @-replies on identi.ca more often.
  • If you’re interested in the topics I write about in more detail, you can subscribe to my blog.
  • If you want to follow what I’m reading online, you can subscribe to my Google Reader feed.
  • If (and only if) we’ve worked together (i.e. we have worked cooperatively on a project, team, problem, workshop, class, etc.), then I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also syndicates my blog and Twitter.
  • If you know me “in real life” and want to share your Facebook content with me, you can connect with me on Facebook. I try to limit this to a manageable number of connections, and will periodically drop connections where the content is not of much interest to me so that my feed remains useful. Don’t take it personally (see the start of this post). Virtually everything I post on my Facebook account is just syndicated from other public sources above anyway. I no longer publish any personal content to Facebook due to their bizarre policies around this.

Written by Matt Zimmerman

March 18, 2010 at 17:28

4 Responses

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  1. I see I am not the only one to do this. Seeing as I refuse to use Facebook, I tend to user twitter/identi.ca for all social networking stuff, except for Linkedin. I was never a huge fan of the term “Friend” being used the way it is on Facebook for one, plus I have enough friends, I don’t need a bunch of digital ones too :)


    March 18, 2010 at 17:47

  2. Why defriend people on facebook and not just remove them from the feed? It’s fewer clicks even.

    Scott Ritchie

    March 18, 2010 at 23:42

  3. Glad to see I’m not the only one who doesn’t like Facebook (or who doesn’t see the point, except to aggregate bits of information from other sources).


    March 19, 2010 at 01:02

  4. It would be interesting to see social networking based on the PGP/GPG web of trust or a distributed social network using people’s websites.


    March 19, 2010 at 04:16

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