Clean Streams

This post has absolutely nothing to do with clean, cold flowing water in New Jersey.    It also has nothing to do with “cuss” words.    How many social web sites do you use?   If you’re like most of us,  you use at least a few different sites.   If you’re really into social media,  you may use a lot of different sites.   If you’re reasonably sophisticated in terms of technology,  it’s fairly easy to automate things so that what you enter into one stream is auto-posted into other streams.   Despite what some tech-obsessed pompous ass will tell you,  more often than not this is a Terrible idea.

I have an acquaintance.   We have chatted a number of times and sometimes help each other out on social media.  We have some common interests and are Facebook friends.   This lady streams her 4Square check-ins to Facebook.    Honestly,  I really don’t care to be informed when she is at her local grocery store.    If she really ramps up her 4Square activity and keeps spamming it to Facebook  I will almost certainly unsubscribe from her updates.  (I quite love the new Unsubscribe button.   Unlike un-friending which I found most people do notice and usually take offense at,  no one has ever noticed that I quietly unsubscribed from their updates.)   I’m on 4Square as well,  and I really have no complaints at all about anyone using 4Square however they see fit.   I occasionally visit 4Square to check in or to do some other activity that accrues points.   But I pay almost no attention to even my own routine check-ins,  let alone an acquaintance’s.

In my considered opinion the value of being on different networks is that you can often talk about different things with different audiences.    The people like Susan and Tom that I talk to in #Sustainchat may not be interested in my book reviews.   My science fiction friends in my Twitter chat with author Jenn Thorson  may have no interest in my social networking posts.   Folks who are new to blogging or new to social networking hear an awful lot about finding and developing their audience.    The fact is one has different audiences on each site,  which may contain many of the same folks.    Some cross-over between streams is inevitable and is not a problem.   But I urge you to be cautious and not mix your streams willy nilly.   Your friends who follow you everywhere will really appreciate it.

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25 comments on “Clean Streams

  1. Giggling at the first contextual link in your post, Alan 🙂

    I agree. My Facebook and my Twitter are two completely different sets of people. Facebook is (mostly) friends and family with some professional connections but not many (and YES i love the unsubscribe option). Twitter is wide networking on a variety of levels and fluctuates wildly as I have zero patience for Twitter spammers (WHY do we not have a workable unsubscribe option on Twitter?) LinkedIn is a whole ‘nother group, mostly professional contacts I actually know and respect.

    My WordPress group is another completely different circle, although Facebook overlaps some.

    • On Twitter just block them. It won’t make their previous tweets disappear but once blocked you’ll never see another tweet from them. And since Twitter is not strictly reciprocal in the way FB is, if you are providing content they value in their streams….chances are they won’t unfollow you. (Unless they are social media rockstar gaming the system….in which case you are SO much better of without them.)

  2. Well, I had objection with foul language and the other party was upset that I blocked them. Yes, I did not follow the person closely or the person’s situation. But, I cannot stand foul language over several days. I wish the party would choose a private channel to discuss personal issues. I have no interest to read all those bickering filled with filthy language. Just be careful, everyone could read once you posted in ‘public.’

    • Nicolas,

      I totally support every users’ right to block anyone whom they don’t care to deal with or associate with. And honestly, I wouldn’t be Facebook friends with some one who said phuque in every other sentence. OTOH, cursing doesn’t really bother me and I think an occasional expletive can be a part of effective communication.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. There is always some overlap on different social networks. Overlap in content and overlap in friendships. If the overlap is too much, one of the connections is not necessary. Additionally, each network has different social norms. For example you can post 30 times on twitter with little or no repercussion. Do that on Facebook and you’ll certainly lose your audience. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dana, I would strongly suggest that one never spam the same thing thirty times on Twitter. imho, that would cause you to lose a great deal of your audience on that platform (certainly I would unfollow anyone who spammed my stream to that extent). On the other hand if you’re participating in a Twitter chat, posting thirty tweets in an hour would be perfectly fine.

      • I would never advocate 30 of the same tweets ever. My point was posting different content 30 times in a day is acceptable (I don’t do it), but 30 posts on FB is very excessive. I have 11K twitter followers and growing and use it more for a business focus. I do some business posts on FB, but reveal a little more human interaction. I am in full agreement, use different streams for different things and don’t post the exact same stuff on all streams. Oh, and never send endless “buy me” posts, aka spam, anywhere.

  4. I agree. I take my Facebook and other social media’s more seriously than 4Square. 4Square is a way to add points, have another place for professionals to find my company for the SEO but I wish 4Square had more to it.

  5. My first thought was – there is clean water in Jersey? My second thought however was that you have struck upon (Not nailed) one of the great truths of social networking which we all should have recalled from Ghostbusters. Egon said “Crossing the streams would be bad.” I also think he said “Hiring Huey Lewis to sing this theme song would be worse.” That is neither here nor there though.

    Twitter, I tend to have a quick trigger with. If I give you a reciprocal follow, don’t expect me to remain following if you un-follow me ten minutes later. Facebook I am more lenient with. You have to bury me under piles of excrement before I un-friend you. I may unsubscribe quickly, but you’re still my friend. In real life I have friends I automatically tune out too so I’m equal opportunity. Everyplace else I tend to go with the flow.

    And yes…my streams are mostly clean. I wouldn’t drink from them though. Maybe I’m too old school for it all, but I handle my accounts like individuals. Each serves a different purpose and each works best when used a certain way. Trying to force them all to work in concerted effort all the time is just begging for problems over the long haul in my mind although many gurus tell me I’m nuts. But what do I know? I thought the Great Pumpkin was coming this year and he totally punked me. Maybe next year….

    • I just love it that you’ve posted a comment as lengthy and substantive as most blog posts I come across. Sometimes I believe that blogging is an intersection of technology and creativity. I have very little skill in the former but kind of rawk at the latter. What really pisses me off is when folks–like the one in my second contextual link above– try to pretend it’s all about tech and the writing doesn’t matter.

  6. Well said. Occasionally, actually rarely, I post the same thing to twitter and facebook, since they are 2 different audiences. I’m in complete agreement with you about the 4sq check-ins. I also love to unsubscribe and demote some people to acquaintance status since it’s an easy way out that doesn’t hurt their feelings. Great post.

    • Tom, I think you have to do what works for you. FWIW, I haven’t noticed any cross postings from you at all, let alone any that have bothered me. To the extent that you really are connected with different audiences on different services auto sharing between them may be a viable and good strategy. But again, you have to find what works for you.

  7. I’m with ya on this one. I have been coming across more people who have everything under the sun bouncing between everything they are involved in.
    I briefly wondered if the practice would be beneficial for me to do so as well, and less time to decide not to do it! I can’t imagine how I would be able to get a message across when I had one to give.
    I love the unsubscribe button as well and have used it quite a few times already!
    Here’s to keeping the streams clean!

    • I can introduce you to a guy who can help you to automate anything you want, and as I said if you’re reasonably techno butch you can figure it out for yourself without too much trouble. Unless you’ve a good and well considered reason to, I urge you not to automate your streams.

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