My use of social networks

by Volker Weber

Twitter is in the news. No growth, Wall Street is not happy, users are going elsewhere. This got me thinking about my use of social networks.

It's pretty clear to me why Twitter isn't thriving. For years they have made things worse for their users. First they pissed off their 3rd party developers, then they started mixing in ads into the stream, posing them as regular posts. Suddenly Instagram photos would not be shown inline anymore because that belongs to Facebook. And on, and on, and on. Much in the way that Facebook tried to force their stupid games on you. There was no way of saying "stop it right now, I don't want to see this". Which brings me to my short list of networks I use, how I use them and why.

What about you?


Twitter became write-only, and in fact I hate it. Google+ is to follow a few interesting people, Facebook to keep in touch with friends,family and people rather far away. I thought about to adopt tumblr for longer posts. Ello seems interesting as well.

Martin Loeschner, 2015-10-28

I only use Twitter.
I do use Feedly (for some newsfeeds), and love Zite, for curated news.

Q: why would you delete older tweets?
Some might no longer be relevant, but it's part of your 'history', isn't it?

Theo Heselmans, 2015-10-28

Why do you remove old tweets from Twitter - any harm in leaving them online?

Andreas Eldrich, 2015-10-28

Theo and Andreas, I like to run a tight ship. I delete them because I can.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-28

Most of the time I use Twitter.
Facebook only for a few fountain pen groups.

I know a lot of the people I'm following on Twitter personally, and that's the main reason.

Karl Heindel, 2015-10-28

I use Twitter for news and amusement (and I agree with your assessment of it) and Facebook for keeping in touch with old friends and family. Instagram is fine, but I'm not a photographer or an artist, so I rarely login. Ello has such a strong creative focus that it reminds me of Instagram with a bare bones text capability, so I'm rarely there either. I still prefer email. So yeah, I'm old.

My 13 year old daughter's friends are all on Instagram and Snapchat all the time, they use Twitter to follow celebrities, never use Facebook or Google+. They've never heard of Ello (I showed it to her once and her reaction to the UI and fonts was "ewwwwwww"). They Facetime more casually than we called on the phone or emailed. They text instead of email. Most of them are pretty aware of the lack of privacy and they keep their accounts separated, which is interesting.

Rob McDonagh, 2015-10-28

I'm still in the "RSS age", so Feedly is where I go for checking news.

Pedro Quaresma, 2015-10-28

"they keep their accounts separated"

That is indeed interesting. I heard that before. That basically means they use different handles on different networks and hope that nobody ever figures the connection out, right? That is very ... how shall I say? ... optimistic.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-28

They're a bit more clever than that. They basically treat every social network account as a very temporary thing. It's all about not linking the accounts together in any way. They use throwaway email addresses because they don't care about email. They make up the profile information because they know it's only used against them and never for them. They text their handles to their friends and away they go. If they lose access to an account because they forgot the password, they tell their friends it is dead and create a new one.

Rob McDonagh, 2015-10-28

Twitter - public sharing of knowledge, like at events and conferences. I can go weeks without using it at all and then a flurry when I am at a conference like this week. anyone can read everything.

Facebook - my most used social network. family, friends, different communites (the yellowsphere, my progpower music folks, and a few others. locked down so that only people I give permission can see. it's not a small group, but its far from open.

Facebook Public Page - all my sharing (using hootsuite - goes to Tw, Fb Page, LI) but almost not engagement.

LinkedIN - my most heavily used social network. I engage quite a bit. I generate 50% of my leads from LI as the first source. Yes, I am in sales. Yes, it works.

Instagram - use it mostly for looking vs posting.

have accounts at ello, G+, tumblr, and a few more. don't use them enough to count.

John Head, 2015-10-28

Facebook: Almost all friends (current and old) are there. Use it heavily to stay connected to them, planning events, messaging.

Twitter: mostly noise. Best way to stay informed about @IBM_ICSsupport

Google+: Been there, gone away. Only one interesting contact left (who doesn't post elsewhere)

Good old E-Mail: the only way to connect to most of my family ;-)

Oliver Regelmann, 2015-10-28

Stackoverflow and Github.

Moritz Petersen, 2015-10-28

None. Don't miss anything.

Stephan Perthes, 2015-10-28

Yes, still Facebook *cough* - best way for me to connect to old friends and to interact with lots of people in the socbiz community for me. Highest rate of interaction at FB.

Twitter - open and very fast. use it like John at events and conferences. Highly interactive at these events. Very good to keep track of people sharing knowledge. Not so good to have conversations with friends & family.

Google+: Dead for me. Do not post activly here anymore. Check activities of my circles once a month. Surprised, how active some of my contacts are and that it is not dead for many people.

Yammer: Still active in some communities for business purposes. Most of the time read only.

Slack: Still waiting for my Slack moment. Tried to build a small community there. Failed. But will keep on trying ;-)

Instagram: Connected to some friends, mostly no dialogue, but enjoying to browse photos. Educated by vowe to avoid filtered stuff :-)

Ello: Opposite of Twitter. Slow. Read only. Would like to enjoy the quiet moments and browse photos on Ello. Currently there are not enough lazy moments.

Snapchat: My kids taught me how to use it. Read only. I am too old for that kind of social network, but like the idea.

Alexander Kluge, 2015-10-28

Just a word of warning. Without exception I always mute people who are attending conferences. And sometimes I forget to unmute them. Posting an update every few minutes is the very best way to piss me off.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-28

I am using Facebook more than I ever have, but mostly only because I am connecting with real life friends more.

I use Google+ a fair amount, but it has been fading recently. I like it for the people I don't know in real life built around interests, and it has worked for me like that for a long time, but it is working less well recently.

I use for writing, but not a lot.

I use deviantArt to post a little and view a lot.

I use Twitter mostly because my daughter does, and because I can post all sorts of randomness without worrying that almost anybody will actually notice or care.

Other networks I only use under different personas like Rob McDonagh's daughter's friends do. Those are mostly for alternate writing and art identities (i.e., pseudonyms), and come and go as I feel like it.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2015-10-29

Fair enough. But for many folks like me Twitter is THE conference channel and adds tremendous value for me and other attendees. It's the public notebook and the instant feedback and discussion channel. Would not want to miss it, even if I stay muted in your timeline :-) will call you then from time to time to keep you updated ;-)

Alexander Kluge, 2015-10-29

I do understand the urge to live tweet. As a speaker I like people to stay with me instead of posting sound bytes. I might insert a new "Wait, let me tweet that" routine into my talks. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2015-10-29

I'm on an abstinence course from Facebook as it just sucked my time. Uninstalled from iPhone, hosts file modified so that I can't access it from my main work computer.

Google+: no longer following

Twitter: excellent for keeping up to date with latest geeky news. Love it, apart from the silly suggested posts.

LinkedIn/XING: Used instead of keeping loads of business cards, for people I have met in person.

Andrew Magerman, 2015-10-29

Da hier ja sonst nur Männer schreiben, hier mal aus der Sicht einer Frau um die 30 (und meiner Mädels):

Facebook: Jede ist noch drin, um zu stalken, aber keine postet wirklich irgendwas interessantes (außer Katzenbilder). Mittlerweile postet auch keine mehr Babyfotos. Ungefähr die Hälfte meiner Freundinnen ist auch nicht mehr mit dem echten Namen angemeldet. Seit die Messenger-Funktion in eine Extra-App gepackt wurde, schreibt auch keiner mehr Nachrichten dort.

Twitter: Nutzt niemand (weder aktiv noch passiv)

Google Plus: Nutzt niemand

Xing und LinkedIN: Visitenkarten-Ersatz, aber Kommunikation findet dort nicht statt.

"Sozial" kommuniziert wird bei WhatsApp - nirgendwo sonst... :-) Und geschäftliches klassisch per Mail.

Lena Moor, 2015-10-29

Facebook for friends, Google+ as news feed, Ello for beauty, Instagram almost like Ello, except it is a lot less beautiful, but more crowded. I do not have a Twitter account, but search for a few people regularly. I really miss path. That was my favorite social network.

Sabine Weber, 2015-10-29 as my news aggregator, when I want to consume it.
Texts, email, and phone calls from people that I want to talk to one on one. I don't get involved in many 1 to subset's just clutter.
Reddit/Imgur when I want to waste time.

Mike McPoyle, 2015-10-29

I use Google+ the most, engaged in communities and mentoring program using G+ and Hangouts as platform, contact to family and some other people.

Second is Twitter as news and tech scene aggregate, mostly passive but also occasional updates, thoughts, invites to events, links to longer posts.

Xing for business contacts, mainly to store them, but also for occasional communication. LinkedIn on lower profile for the same internationally.

WhatsApp for ongoing communication with friends.

Never had a Facebook account (except a fake one to have a look at what everbody was loosing their time and mind at).

Natanael Mignon , 2015-10-29

Well for me this week, I was paid (in terms of travel costs) to cover the conference 'live and in real-time' - which to mean means live tweet. I understand some don't like it, but I made the concious decision to lose a few followers in exchange for the access and new followers.

John Head, 2015-10-29

Google+ to follow interesting people.
Facebook to connect exclusively with people I've actually met.
Ello for things beautiful and weird.
VSCO grid for photohraphic inspiration.
Instagram for bragging.
Xing for job offers from people who can't be bothered to read profiles.
Linkedin for connect requests from people who imported their Google contacts file and have me in there because they follow me on G+.
Twitter to enlarge my block file (might try the newsfeed idea though).
Deleted snapchat and Whatsapp.

Dirk Moeller, 2015-10-30

From China here:

Facbook is blocked, and even though a VPN is easy to get it's just too bothersome on a regular basis. The profile is inactive for a good year now, and only hasn't been deleted because of nostalgia and spotify account verification.

Twitter is blocked as well and pretty much the same case as facebook. However, I do find myself turning on the VPN 1 - 2x a week just to check the feed.

Tumblr has some beautiful artsy pictures and I mainly follow for inspiration. The once I like most I reblog to archive. Once a day active use.

WhatsApp to keep in contact with family and friends back home. Personal picture sharing, Group Chats, all happening here. Once a day active use.

LinkedIn has my CV and it helps to stay on top of the developments in my industry. Slowly starting to get annoyed by the algorithm that shows me too many irrelevant likes from others and the growing number of recruitment or sales posts as well as the facebook-like quote, cat and food posts.

WeChat mostly unheard of outside of Asia is THE social network in China. It's like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter combined. Even better in some aspects. Group Chats, easy contact sharing via QR-code, a simple chronologic feed without algorithms, mobile payment, tinder-like dating for those feeling bored, very capable app. In China I live on WeChat except for when I'm sleeping.

E-Mail for when it gets serious. Also the backup and foundation for all of the above.

Maximilian von Hulewicz, 2015-10-31

Interesting perspective Maximilian.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-31

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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