Social networks come. Social networks jump the shark. Social networks go.
I have signed up to several social networks over the years and, as they have died a death, quietly abandoned them. Usually this abandonment is not the result of any conscious decision – I simply find myself increasingly uninterested in checking in until I realise that I haven’t looked at the network for several months. At this point I simply delete the bookmark from my browser and the abandoned account becomes yet another piece of digital litter left behind.
There are, however, a couple of behemoths (or dinosaurs, depending on your perspective) in the social networking space which I am finding myself increasingly dissatisfied with. Since there are a number of people on both Twitter and Facebook that I do communicate with, I thought it would be worth mentioning why I will no longer be using these services and pointing to where I can currently be found.
Let’s be honest here. Facebook shot itself long ago and, quite frankly, the talk of the company’s impending public floatation strikes me as having more to do with cashing in before the collapse than anything else.
I’ll admit that when I first signed up to Facebook, many moons ago, it did look useful and I have successfully used it to get back in touch with several people from my past. But now the contacts have been re-established and hellos have been said and what’s left is looking both pointless and annoying.
I have a blog. I don’t need Facebook.
I have not deleted my Facebook account and there are two reasons for this. The first is that I do I want to still be able to manage the Pulpmovies page on Facebook and the second is that there are people on Facebook with whom I want to remain in touch. I have, however, switched off pretty much all of the sites notifications and unsubscribed from the Facebook feeds I was following.
If you send me a direct message on Facebook, I will see it. I will not see or respond to anything else that appears on that site.
Back in September I stopped using Twitter. I discussed the reason at some length here but the shorter version is; the PC I had (still have) was too old and slow to cope with Gwibber’s leakiness so I switched to Pino and, because Pino doesn’t merge timelines, I stopped using Twitter in favour of Identi.ca.
In December I treated myself to a new laptop which had enough memory in it to cope with Gwibber. So I started following both services again. However, I have been increasingly dissatisfied with Twitter which is becoming less of a communication platform and more of a tool for people to self-promote.
Yesterday’s news that Twitter is essentially telling third party developers that to stop building clients suggests to me that things are only going to get worse.
So I have unmerged my accounts in Mustard and replaced Gwibber with Pino on the laptop. I haven’t actually deleted the Twitter account (yet) but nor will I be either watching or posting to my Twitter stream from this point on.
You can, of course, still find me on Identi.ca which I have found to be a friendlier and much more conversational platform than Twitter. It also has the advantage of openness which means that I don’t have to worry about corporate silliness breaking the experience.
Viva the open microblog!