Social media disappointments

by Volker Weber

I have been using quite a few social networks. And I keep hopping when they piss me off. A short and incomplete history:

  1. I joined Facebook and Twitter. Could not make much use of them. Twitter was simple but had a bad signal-noise ratio. I eventually embraced Facebook.
  2. Facebook started to bother me with games and recommendations. People asked me to like their commercial pages. Facebook believes it is driving engagement. In reality, it's chasing me away.
  3. I joined Path and shared photos in small circles. Then it started to bore me. You can only look at so many pictures that moms take of their kids. People you know well can't be bothered to fill out their profile or upload a picture. And then Path put a nail in the coffin by suggesting people I might know, right on top of the list of people I do know. It was the opposite of what I wanted.
  4. I joined Google+ early on. It was quite wonderful. Intelligent discourse, lots of new insights, great design. Then Google and Microsoft started a war. Google+ stopped working in IE on WP. Gmail dropped EAS. A Microsoft Youtube app was blocked on WP. Too much evil, too hard to use on mobile.
  5. Went back to Twitter and Facebook and used them in exactly the same fashion. Facebook looked nice at first. Great support on all platform. Then they worked really hard on pissing me off. Switching my news feed from 'Most Recent' to 'Top Stories', even when I set the opposite. Filtering news feeds, so I would not get what I asked for. Polluting the 'Most Recent' feed with comments, when I just wanted to get the latest stories.

For now, Twitter has won. It gets me exactly the content that I subscribe to. There is even a nice feature that lets me switch off Retweets for people who post very little original content.

I did learn one lesson well: keep a short tail. Weed out your old data, once it becomes irrelevant. It makes it easy to leave. There is only a single post on Facebook, and a few dozen on Twitter. At any time.

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Similar experience except
3. Never tried Path
4. Can't nail what changed. Initially there were deep conversations. It seems this watered down over time. Maybe ..
- communities led to stronger compartmentalization?
- too much focus on images over text?
5. Quit Facebook about privacy.

For now, Twitter has won.

Why do you weed old *publicly shared* data? So why bother on Twitter?

Michael Friess, 2014-01-15 23:08

Because I can. It's very little effort if you do it daily. Less than a minute.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-15 23:11

> It's very little effort if you do it daily.

cron? ;-)

I used to weed (automatically), but I stopped doing that. No reason to, really. When you leave Twitter (for good), data is deleted -- at least in such a way that outsiders can't get at it.

Jan-Piet Mens, 2014-01-16 08:23

Well, you can leave all your old stuff in the basement until you tear down the house, or you can dispose of it. I like a clean space while I am there, and I never tear down the house.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-16 08:49

Interested as to why you don't do the same with your own site (deleting old posts/comments etc.)?

Stuart McIntyre, 2014-01-16 09:48

That's an easy one. I am the captain of this ship.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-16 09:57

I don't get your short tail theory. Why not commemorate on the social networks, too?

Thomas Cloer, 2014-01-16 19:15

That's another easy one. I am not the captain of those ships.

You have 15k tweets. Imagine you wanted to remove 14k of them. No way. I have about as many posts here. Removing 14k of them is a 5 minutes job with FTP. Recreating them is one command. Removing them forever is a SQL statement. I own this stuff.

Volker Weber, 2014-01-16 19:21

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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