How to Avoid Social Media Overload

Social Media Overload and How to Avoid It
Social media overload! Too much! Too much! [Image by Karl Newark]
Just a few short years ago, there were only a couple of social networks that mattered. Facebook and Twitter were pretty much where everyone hung out. It was pretty easy to keep both sites updated and keep your finger on the pulse of what each site had to offer. As more people have become social and more companies have realized just how valuable those connections are, social networks have popped up everywhere. Gone are the days of simplicity in sharing. Welcome to the time of social media overload.

I’m Experiencing Social Media Overload! Hand Me a Flag!

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Google Plus. Pinterest. YouTube. Reddit. Tumblr. LinkedIn. The list goes on and on — and on. Infinity. I’m getting tired just trying to list the ones deemed important these days. I have profiles on them all, much as you likely have. Somehow, I maintain them all. Once in a while, I even find the time to update a few. Hand me a white flag. I admit it: I’m burned out. Overwhelmed. Overloaded. Stick a fork in me — I want to be done.

Yes, that sounds a tad dramatic. I feel dramatic when I stop to think for even 10 seconds about trying to keep up with all of these spaces. I adore the connections I have made, the jobs I’ve landed due to these places, and the knowledge I have been blessed with along the way. But geez, at what point do we decide that social media is taking far too much time out of our lives?

I’m at that point, but I realized something yesterday: there is no good reason to overload myself. Why do I feel the need to be everywhere? What am I really going to miss if I’m not spread so thin? I have to be on those aforementioned networks all day every day for work, on more than one personal/company account. Is it any wonder I find myself dragging at the thought of then logging in as little old me?

In the Words of Lamarr: “sssSTOP IT!”

Feeling the strain of social media overload? That’s right. Stop. Walk away. Go so far as to deactivate a few of your profiles, or allow them to go stagnant while still keeping your username. I promise it won’t hurt. You won’t lose any jobs, friends, or information. You will still be able to do and have these things, but you’ll also have your sanity once again. There is honestly no good reason to keep beating your head against a proverbial wall while trying to maintain some “presence” on a gazillion sites. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. Yes, it’s a good idea to make a basic profile if keeping a particular username is important to you or your company. That does not mean you have to actually build out the profile and maintain it.

But I Have to Be Where My Customers/Fans/Followers Are!

Well yes, in a sense you need to be there. But you honestly don’t have to be everywhere. Keeping only a couple of well-run social properties and pointing to them from a central location (such as your blog or website) and cross-linking in your information/about sections will allow people to find you. How many customers do you think you’ll gain if you try to jump onto 12 websites instead of four? Seriously? I’d stake my entire professional reputation on the fact that the number is far less than you think.

Keep It Simple, Silly!

Whether you are reading this as a person who just wants to have fun online, a social media manager for a company or someone who wants to make connections in order to get ahead in the workplace, you need to slow your roll — or you’ll fall victim to social media overload! In any of these instances, you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at the very least. In many cases, it’s also a good idea to be on Pinterest. The other networks have benefits, yes, but you do not have to be there beyond keeping a landing place so your name is reserved.

Okay, So Where Should I Be?

I’m so glad you asked! I already mentioned “the big three” and Pinterest. In my humble opinion, you need nothing else — with one exception. LinkedIn. If you are online in a professional capacity of any type, you must have a well-maintained profile on LinkedIn. I’m not going to bore you with the reasons why. There are many guides to tell you why and how to work this website. Just trust me. Do it.

The only way to avoid social media overload is to simply stop overloading yourself. Rip that bandage off and breathe a sigh of relief. You’ll thank me for it within one day. Pinky swear.

Social Networking Sites for Diabetics

Social Networking Sites For DiabeticsA hundred years ago, if you were diagnosed with diabetes, it was basically like being handed a death sentence. Today, with the arrival of new drugs and treatments, this is no longer the case. In addition, diabetics no longer finds themselves at the mercy of their physician who may not be trained in the specific care needed to maximize life potential. This is because today, thanks to the Internet, diabetics have access to a variety of websites and social networks that have been specifically designed to answer their questions. In addition, these sites are able to provide answers to emotional upheavals that patients may experience through the support of others who have been diagnosed with this disease. As a diabetic myself, I find the fact that many of these social networking sites add credibility by going through credited diabetes professionals and consultants.

Let me take some of your time to share my personal story with you. In August, 2011, I went to see our family doctor for what I thought was a possible prostate infection. After evaluating a urine sample, I was told that my urine contained a large amount of sugar. Another test confirmed that my blood sugar was double what is currently accepted as being within normal range. Now this could have come as a shock, but it didn’t simply because several members of my mother’s family had already been diagnosed with the disease. Fortunately, my diagnosis was for type 2 diabetes, which I have been able to control with oral medication, exercise, and diet.

You should know, though, that while my doctor is cool with my researching the disease on the Internet, you may find that your doctor frowns at patients using the Internet to try and self-diagnose themselves. However, most doctors will agree that social networking sites can be beneficial. On these sites, patients can share their experiences with others as well as receive advice regarding certain aspects of this condition from those who may have already suffered through that aspect of the disease. What I have found is that when patients and caregivers are able to support and share insights among one another, the social networking sites can be especially rewarding.

One of the sites that I have found most helpful is Alliance Health Networks. This company offers a variety of social networking sites, not just for diabetics, but also for a variety of other ailments. In fact, the company offers social networking sites for those (and the families of those) who suffer from chronic back pain, attention deficit order, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, depression, migraines, and many other disorders.

In the future, with rising medical costs, one of the advantages of these social networking sites will most likely be that they address healthcare issues that would otherwise have required a visit to the doctor’s office. I know that it is impossible to look at the expense of medical care and the cost of insurance premiums without looking for alternative ways to seek help and treatment. In addition, I have sought the guidance of fellow diabetics online, and for the most part, have found the information I have received extremely useful.

However, as anyone who has used Facebook, Google+, or other social networking sites knows, the communication between acquaintances, friends, and family can become very lively. The same holds true when one communicates with others who are suffering from the same type of illness or disease. I know I have read some heated arguments about treatments, alleged cures, and medication results. When this occurs, it isn’t because one party is necessarily wrong, it is just that the treatment didn’t meet their particular needs and you need to listen to your doctor. Thankfully, in my experience, this has been a rare occurrence and — other than those few incidents — my overall experience has been positive and well worth the effort.

While I personally see the use of social networking sites for those suffering from various ailments as a positive addition to treatment, I would not even consider using them as a replacement for traditional medical care and advice. If you have taken advantage of any of these sites, please comment and let me know what your experience was like.

Comments welcome.

Source: Forbes

Source: Alliance Health Networks

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by wonder_al

How to Get Company Staff Using Social Media

There should be an image here!Do you work for a company where social media is used frequently by colleagues to organize, advertise, and enhance the work at hand in a positive manner? Or has a system been installed that just sort of flopped and never took off either because people didn’t like the idea of change or the novelty just wore off before its potential was realized?

Many people are of the opinion that, if a business installs social media tools (like the Web or intranet), staff will naturally start using it. However, these people fail to see that getting people to use social media tools requires a significant change in management effort. In fact, installing the tools in the easy part; getting people to use them is the challenge. Without a change to the overall management plan, there is a very good chance that any social media initiative will never get far off the ground.

So what does the change of management plan need to include?

Executive-level Sponsorship: Make sure that the company’s executives are on board with the initiative and that they’re promoting the tools through conversation and active participation. If the people in charge aren’t using the social media you’re trying to get off the ground around the office, it’s unlikely that it will take off in the lower ranks, either. As they say, “monkey see, monkey do.” Not that your employees are monkeys. Not all of them, anyway. Probably.

Communication Plan: Getting employees to buy into Web 2.0 requires a significant amount of communication. Utilize any mediums available to promote the tools and the benefits they bring to an organization. If people don’t understand such benefits, they probably won’t see social media tools as anything but new, shiny, and ultimately intrusive barriers to the daily workflow. Turning this thinking around is imperative to your effort’s success.

Engaging Content: Conversations should be relevant to employees and should draw them into the online community. If employees don’t feel like they’re part of the conversation, they’ll probably tune it out completely and ignore it altogether once the novelty of this new form of communication goes away. Engage them and chances are that their responsiveness will perpetuate the use of the tools available to them.

Governance Model: Social media tools require some sort of governance model both at the strategic and operation levels. Map out a clear organizational structure that determines hierarchy of users and the direction in which communication should flow within this hierarchy. Emphasize what these social network tools are designed to do and how they should be used with maximum efficiency.

Policy: Employees need to know the rules for using the social media tools. A social media policy should explicitly define what employees can and cannot do within the environment. Making it absolutely clear what lines of conduct are expected when using these tools will help avoid abuse (unintentional or otherwise) of the system early on.

Getting your company’s staff to start using social media likely isn’t something that will happen overnight. Don’t let a slow takeoff completely derail your efforts — keep it a positive experience and reward those who take initiative to use the system, and it will catch on. Have patience!

Have you ever implemented social media tools in the workplace with varying degrees of success? Have you been part of a company where such an attempt has been made by upper and middle management without much reward for their efforts? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below.

Do We Need More Laws to Protect Our Privacy on the Internet?

California is considering new guidelines to protect its citizens from social networking sites that disseminate personal information. The proposed legislation, known as the ‘Social Networking Privacy Act,’ is geared at social networking users who are under the age of 18 years old. The proposed law would regulate how personal information is displayed and also would require social networking sites to remove personal information within 48 hours if requested by a user. In addition, there are fines for flagrant violations if the social networking site operators do not comply with specifics in the proposal, known as SB [senate bill] 242.

California is home to some of the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Zynga, and others who have formed a collation to oppose any type of industry regulation or proposals that these companies deem as unnecessary. The coalition of social networking sites believe that any regulation is unconstitutional and violates freedom of speech by limiting how user information is displayed. The coalition also believes that having users make privacy information decisions before being able to access a social networking site effectively removes all controls that are presently in place.

I am opposed to any type of regulation or law that prohibits anyone from being able to participate in any social networking site, no matter what the age of the person is. For children under the age of 18 years old, it should be the parents’ responsibility to regulate the child’s behavior. Yet many parents are afraid to invoke restrictions on how and when their children access the Internet. The children of today are more computer savvy than previous generations and know how to circumvent any type of limitations or restrictions, no matter what the law states.

On the flip side, I also believe that social networking sites need to explain in clear language what privacy controls are currently in place. I know that on Facebook it is difficult to understand the terminology, limitations, and accessibility features as they are presently presented on I consider myself fairly computer literate and if I can’t understand the terminology, how is the average user supposed to understand the privacy settings?

It would seem to me that the social networking sites should take the responsibility to regulate their own sites. By providing simple to understand terms and restrictions, as well as privacy settings, users would be better served. In addition, the clarity of privacy settings and how they function could eliminate the concerns that some legislatures have about social networking sites and user privacy.

Comments welcome.

Do You Use Facebook? Here Is How You Are Helping Facebook To Make Money From Your Family And Friends

I have always wondered how social networks such as Facebook make money, so when I read an article about how we are used for marketing purposes, I thought I would pass it on. It seems that the company 1-800-Flowers started a marketing trend about three years ago, when it first created its own Facebook fan page. Since that time 1-800-Flowers has generated a fan base of some 125,000 who are doing the advertising for the company using their own family and friends.

So how does this work? When a member decides to click on the “like” button, a very simple advertisement appears on their friends page[s]. As an example, you may see a simple “John Doe likes 1-800-Flowers” message. Those who click on the “like’ button for that ad passes the message on to their family and friends. So while not selling anything, the key is brand name recognition. Each person who sees the 1-800-Flowers ad becomes familiar with the brand name.

Other companies such as Starbucks, Ford, and Coca-Cola are now running multi-million dollar advertisements on Facebook. If predictions hold true, Facebook could take in over $4 billion in advertising revenues this year alone. But what is really going to get Facebook rolling in advertising dollars are the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that are also heading to Facebook with ad money burning a hole in their pockets. What Facebook is going to be pushing is something that is similar to the best form of advertising: word of mouth. But with the ads being generated by your friends and family, what better recommendations could one have?

Now that Facebook has about 600 million users, each with an average of 130 friends, the numbers can be staggering. Facebook will be running small advertisements to the right side of your Facebook page with small images backed up by 160 characters of text. This is going to be the new way of advertising and will take word of mouth to new heights. Now you have to picture this. When we ‘like’ an ad and it is sent to our friends, we become the advertisement. The ads can be targeted directly to specific groups and locations across the globe. That is a nice touch. We will have ads directed to us that we want to see.

This is an interesting concept that I am sure will not only bring in massive revenues for Facebook, but will also increase the value of the company. We can also see why Google wants to get into the social networking business. Google can see how Facebook will be challenging the advertising model that has made Google rich. It should be interesting to see how this plays out for both companies.

This is another reason that more people will be using ad blocking software and keep this from being broadcast by their browser.

Comments welcome.

Source – Technology Review

Do You Think That Facebook Can Be The Cause Of Your Anxiety?

There you are on your Facebook page when all of a sudden you can’t do anything. You click here, there and everywhere and nothing happens. Now you are frustrated and getting angry when, just as suddenly, the page starts working again. Is it an Internet moment, a fluke, or are the Facebook minions messing with your brain?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the folks at Facebook do, from time to time, stop by certain Facebook pages just to aggravate you. But don’t fret. It is all to improve the user experience. By finding out how people adjust when a page is messed with, it helps the Facebook folks improve the user experience for others who use Facebook.

But the people at Facebook also learned some other valuable lessons during their experimenting on various Facebook pages. If you mess with people too much, they will just drop out and stop using Facebook. Some 7% did not return to Facebook for an extended time after they were harassed in the name of improving the user experience. So Facebook does take note of people’s attitudes and complaints when they experiment which sometimes leads them to stopping the experiment.

Another interesting tidbit is that only about 48% of those who attempt to upload a photo doing in one shot. For some folks it takes them most of the day to complete the process. Facebook is trying to make that particular user experience easier.

It is funny because I believe we have all experienced some problems on Facebook that I have attributed to the system on Facebook just not functioning properly. It is good to know that there are people behind the scenes who are actually just messing with us.

So, do you mind being used as a guinea pig?

Comments welcome.

Source – ReadWriteWeb

Netflix Is Building Its Own House Of Cards For A Rumored $100M

Look out, Hollywood, because there is a new kid in town who wants a piece of the action and the new kid is Netflix. The king of streaming video is now looking to produce its very own 26 episode series called House of Cards. The miniseries will feature Kevin Spacey, who has won an Academy Award and David Fincher, who starred in Social Network. It’s based on a popular British miniseries that was very successful.

Rumored to have cost the company a cool $100M, Netflix bidding was against the likes of AMC and HBO, and the company seems to want to make a statement to Hollywood and the television industry. If the miniseries is successful, Netflix could have leverage when dealing with movie studios and television networks who have been reluctant to see the Internet as a viable medium.

Netflix is challenging the way content will be distributed and is thinking outside the box. By financially backing the creation of its own miniseries it can control both content and distribution at what will be at a lower cost. This is not going to make some folks in the entertainment industry happy, and there may be an attempt to block Netflix from future endeavors on its turf.

Traditionally, Netflix distributes older content on its streaming model, refusing to pay the high premiums demanded by other companies. By doing this, Netflix has been able to attract some 20 million subscribers. Though companies like HBO have some 28 million subscribers, Netflix has something that few others have. It poses a phenomenal growth rate of 63% from the 4th quarter of 2009 until the 4th quarter of 2010, while the others have remained relatively stagnant during the same period.

But Netflix is not the only one on the Internet trying to get into the streaming content business. Recently Amazon announced that it would open a library of some 5,000 movies for its Prime Members. Prime Members pay $79.00 a year to have free second day shipping on items purchased from Amazon. The addition of free movies is a great bonus.

But will this be enough for Netflix to grab more subscribers? Would this be enough to make you join Netflix?

Comments welcome.

Source – CrunchGear

Source – WSJ

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Blogging Is Alive And Well – Readership To Increase To 150M

Social networking sites like Facebook have a large impact on our lives and keep us in contact with family and friends around the globe. Twitter provides a fast and easy way to tell others what we are doing. But blogs have change from a decade ago when they were the main sources of communication. There was a time when people would blog about what they did during the day and share this information with others.

But today, blogs provide a different type of information, depending on the blogger and what he/she wishes to present to the reader. One will notice here at Lockergnome, a wide variety of different topics and fields of expertise, as well as different styles of writing. The number of bloggers has increased here at LG over the years and the material that is being presented is drawing a large audience of followers.

So where did the notion come from that blogging in on the decline? According to one article they put the blame on Mashable and the way they skewered the results according to one article.

The blogosphere has become the realm for things that cannot be expressed in 140 characters, a place where significant conversations, debates, and information exchange can occur. This shift means the blogging is maturing and evolving—not dying. Just as Facebook and Twitter have their uses, so does blogging. It’s just not the same use as it was thirteen years ago.

Here is a chart which show the statics of blogging on how blogging will increase in the years to come:

I believe that blogging will be alive and well for the foreseeable future. How about you? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – the regator blog

How Do You Manage Your Profiles?

We have too many profiles on too many social networks. How do people new to our circle know where to find us? We can’t just spam them with all of our links at once. Matthew is taking a look at About.Me this week. The site is a great place to create ONE profile and link to the rest of the places you can be found online.

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Your About profile is completely customizable. Add whatever links, feeds and information you choose. You can choose different fonts and colors for each separate section and make the background you feel fits you the best.

Add your email if you wish, move the description box to a better place on the page and even view your stats. The Dashboard will show you the average time spent on your profile, the total views and the number of new visitors. You’ll be able to see how many times your various links were clicked on.

One thing Matt suggests is to link to this new static page in your email signatures. Instead of listing your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, why not just give out one simple link to serve as a landing page?

Do you have an About.Me page yet?

Is The Internet Now As Popular As TV?

The Internet was once a means to send emails and view webpages for information. But today the Internet has evolved into a world-wide social network, think Facebook with 600 million members, and now is bringing movies and TV programs into our living rooms. So it is not surprising to find that a recent survey indicates that the Internet today is just as popular as TV is. What is surprising is to hear what people are giving up instead.

According to one recent article it states that:

And it’s not because people are spending less time watching TV; those numbers have remained about the same. It’s because Internet usage has grown so dramatically — 121% in the past five years. So what are people doing less? Listening to the radio and reading things like newspapers and magazines offline, according to the survey. (We at Digits guess they might be spending less time doing other things too, like “going outside.”)

I must admit that I personally spend an equal amount of time on the Internet and watching TV. But I have a unique way that I surf the Internet that has become my personal life style. I surf the Internet from the comfort of my living room while I surf the net. So I guess I am one of those who does share my time between the Internet and TV.

But I also get outside quite a bit and do enjoy reading as well. I am able to divide my time and make sure that I am on the Internet for a limited amount of time each day. I have one friend who I know spends all of his time on the Internet. He sends me at least 10 emails a day with useless information attached.

I guess we all have one friend or family member like this. LOL

So how to you divide your time between the Internet, TV and outside activities?

Comments welcome.

Source – WSJ Digits

Mark Zuckerberg – Did The Facebook Founder Fool 60 Minutes?

Last evening, Sunday December 5, 2010, Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the TV program 60 Minutes. The folks at the TV program seem to believe that they were going to receive some priceless inside information from the Facebook founder. But were they fooled in what was being reported and were they the victims of overzealous reporting?

One recent news article states:

Leave it to 60 Minutes to pass off Facebook’s utterly meaningless redesign of the site’s profile pages as some kind of “exclusive” worth leading a segment on the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It’s not just that correspondent Lesley Stahl didn’t understand what’s meaningful about his story; it’s that Zuckerberg essentially reduced the venerable newsmagazine to an unwitting shill.

When 60 Minutes revisits the same subject twice in less than three years, there should be a pretty clear sense of what merits the return. There was none to be found. Here’s what did register though:

60 Minutes overplayed a purely cosmetic change. The photos are bigger, the placement of different pieces of information shifted around… big whoop. For Stahl to get all breathless and devote several minutes to the changes toward the beginning of the segment conveyed a significance those changes didn’t have. Facebook basically used CBS (NYSE: CBS) as an infomercial for placating the older demographics most likely to have the kind of reflexive resistance that always accompanies any alterations to Facebook visual design.

I do not watch 60 Minutes so I cannot comment on the interview. But in my opinion 60 Minutes is an old person’s show. I would seriously doubt that anyone who watched the program would even understand what Facebook is or does. This makes it easy for someone like Zuckerberg to pull the wool over the eyes of the 60 Minutes staff and reporters.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – paidcontent

Are You Still Using MySpace?

Seb asked me in chat recently if I actually use MySpace. I have an account there, yes. I actually even receive tens of visitors there each month. I admit that I really don’t even USE the site. Do you?

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From all appearances, it seems as though MySpace has turned into almost a joke. They are working hard to rebrand the site and turn it into something unique that people will want to use again. However, I just don’t see it happening. When they first came up with the customizable pages, everyone loved it. We could make our pages look however we wanted… until it got out of control. Everywhere you look there are blinky things, strange graphics and comment pictures. It’s overload of a very bad kind, and people who actually care about such things seem to be the only ones using the site still.

Everyone I talk to who takes part in social media profile sites is on Facebook. LinkedIn is ranked up there as another site people feel the need to have a complete profile on. If I mention MySpace, I get strange looks or outright cynical snorts.

What are your thoughts? Are you still using MySpace?

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The Celebrity Tweet Directory

There should be an image here!Divided by category with celebrities listed in alphabetical order so you can easily find your favorite celeb, The Celebrity Tweet Directory tweets you to conversations with hundreds of well-known actors, comedians, singers, politicians, sports figures, and more. With this handy guide, you can flutter into the world of celebrity chatter and experience how they reveal themselves in a way you don’t see anywhere else.

With this portable directory, you’ll quickly and easily discover what’s really happening in Hollywood, on Wall Street, or in Washington, all while following your favorite celeb. In addition, the helpful directory weeds out any fake celebrity twitter accounts, providing only real Twitter handles, saving you the hassle and time of sifting through phony accounts.

  • Features a helpful celebrity directory so you can find your favorite celeb and enjoy sweet tweets from the hottest actors, singers, politicians, sports figures, and more
  • Weeds out any phony celebrity accounts, saving you the hassle of sorting through fake accounts
  • Helps keep you in the know with celebrities on the go, so you’re up on what’s happening everywhere from Beverly Hills to Capitol Hill

Be the first to hear celebrity buzz and get the chic tweets from your fave celebs with The Celebrity Tweet Directory!