My Social Networking Toolbox: Out With The Old, In With The New (2011)

Social Media Landscape
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Today’s announcement that Gowalla will be shutting down by the end of January, prompted me to delete my account this morning — I rarely used the service anyway, I’ve always preferred Foursquare and I also use Facebook Places more frequently than Gowalla.

Deleting that old stagnant account got me thinking about some of the other under-utilized social networking sites (SNS) that I’ve signed up for (and forgotten about) over the years, as well as the new ones I joined this year.  As year-end approaches, it just seems like a good time for a little belated social “spring cleaning” — don’t you agree?

Services I left already this year:

  • I think I joined this social music site a couple of years ago, but it’s been ages since I’ve used it due to services I prefer more like Pandora, Spotify and now iCloud.
  • Delicious: My de facto social bookmarking site for years and years, until that infamous slide got leaked last December about Yahoo discontinuing its support. I promptly exported my years’ worth of bookmarks and tags to Diigo then, and haven’t looked back. I migrated to the new Delicious platform, but continue to prefer the functionality of Diigo.
  • FriendFeed: Back in the days before Twitter’s API turned it into a big gun for auto-sharing a single link across multiple networks, FriendFeed was the only tool that seemed to do this well. It just doesn’t offer any value to me anymore.
  • Gowalla: Deleted my account today (see above).
  • LibraryThing: I joined this service in mid-2009 and really wanted to like it, but the interface remains extremely clunky, and it just doesn’t provide a social enough experience for me.  So after a colleague persuaded me to try out Goodreads (see below), I ditched my LT account.
  • MySpace: Ack! When the redesign happened recently, I finally remembered to delete my account since I hadn’t used it in over 2 years.

Services I plan to leave by year end:

  • Diaspora: After hearing so much hype about this open source “anti-Facebook” SNS on Twitter all year, I was excited to finally be able to join its alpha launch in September. But, I continue to remain bored with the interface and networking, and will probably just delete my account this month since I don’t really need yet another regular SNS.
  • Digg: I signed up for this service who knows when — sometime before I got married in August of 2009, since it’s still tied to my old email. I’ve never “dug” a single link and filed a support request for Digg to delete my account (there’s no way for a user to delete one’s account right now).
  • Posterous: I’ve been on Posterous at least a couple of years and used to be a very heavy user, running multiple blogs and then groups.  But, I continue to grow more disillusioned with this service’s failure to support much in the way of widgets, and its lack of JavaScript support (yes, I know, it’s niche is clean simple no-fuss blogging).  I guess I just like fuss.  I also get very little social networking value out of it.  So, after  I finish copying and pasting (there’s no export tool) some of my old content into other notes apps this month, I plan to delete my account.

Services I joined or rejoined this year:

  • Blogger: I used this blogging platform long before it was ever bought by Google, but switched to WordPress(.org) years ago for better customization, functionality and SEO. This blog post by social developer Jesse Stay convinced me to give Blogger another try this past spring, in hopes that recent improvements to Blogger — in addition to its ease of use — would encourage more community blog contributions in some of the group blogs I help manage (they’ve struggled with learning WordPress).
  • GetGlue: I joined this entertainment-themed SNS early this year after seeing a few Twitter colleagues checking in to TV shows and movies.  It serves no real value for me, and it’s probably the only SNS that I continue to use strictly because it’s kind of fun.
  • Goodreads: After hearing buzz about it for a while on Twitter, I finally gave Goodreads a try at the strong recommendation of several library colleagues (on a Google+ discussion, no less).  And I haven’t looked back. I love the interface, functionality, social networking and mobile apps.
  • Google+: I, along with many of my equally geeky library and tech colleagues, rushed to Google+ after it first launched in beta mode this June. But, despite its continued growth, I maintain a love hate relationship with this SNS. Sometimes I go a week or more without using it, other times, I’m on there all day long conversing with colleagues.
  • Pinterest: I really really really did NOT want to join yet another SNS, but I caved last month after I saw how much unsolicited traffic this service is generating to my food blog.  I am totally hooked on it, and can’t quite explain why — watch for a blog post about it soon.
  • SCVNGR: I first got wind of this social geolocation game and app in June, after I came across colleges using it for freshman orientation, and immediately signed up for an account. While I haven’t spent any time on it personally, I plan to help a couple of our local heritage organizations learn how to use it to conduct fun educational local history scavenger hunts.
  • Tumblr: Despite first trying it out and then dismissing it a couple of years ago, I opted to give Tumblr another go due to its massive growth this year. I like it for photo and video curation and sharing, and it’s great tool for reaching teen and young adult library patrons.
  • I very recently decided to give the hosted version of WordPress a try, and explained this in detail in my last blog post.

Note that what’s missing from this inventory is a list of social networking sites that I’ve used for quite a while, and continue to use on a regular basis. I’ll cover those in separate posts that discuss my personal/professional and our library’s existing social media toolboxes.

What services have you recently ditched, joined or rejoined?

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