Social Overload

I’m finding social media is becoming a bit annoying. I enjoy using it to keep in touch with all sorts of people, but my problem is the proliferation of services that don’t integrate well with each other. Right now, I have:

  • A blog, which I have had for years. I used to post things like short links, daily thoughts, etc – almost every day. It seems that there is some social pressure to not do that on blogs anymore, so I don’t too much. My blog gets mostly edited, more carefully thought-out, longer-form posts now. I’m not entirely happy with that direction though, since it means I don’t post much on the blog because it takes a lot of time to compose things nicely for it.
  • A twitter account, which I sometimes use to post links and such. However, I have noticed a significant decline in the number of actual conversations I have on Twitter since Google+ came out, and I wonder how relevant Twitter will remain to people in the future.
  • I also have an account, though I almost never have any interactions there anymore.
  • A Facebook account, which is mostly used to keep in touch with people I know offline in one way or another. Many of them use Facebook exclusively, sometimes even more than email.
  • A Google+ account. I post similar content there as I do on twitter, though probably more of it because it doesn’t have a character limit. I really enjoy the community on Google+ – there are few people I’ve met in person in my circles, but many people I know from various online activities. And many just plain brilliant, engaging, or interesting people. As an example: I follow Edd Dumbill, the (former?) chair of OSCon, on Google+. He started talking about his Fitbit getting broken, which led me to ask him some questions about it – which he, and others, answered – and me ordering one myself. I just don’t have that kind of interaction anywhere else.
  • A Diaspora account that I created but honestly haven’t had time to use.

So my problems are:

  1. Posting things multiple places. I currently can post on, which automatically posts to twitter, which automatically posts to Facebook. But then I’d still have to post to Google+, assuming it’s something that I’d like to share with both my Facebook friends and my Google+ circles – it usually is.
  2. The situation is even worse for re-tweeting/re-sharing other people’s posts. That is barely possible between platforms and usually involves cutting and pasting. Though this is somewhat more rare.
  3. It’s probably possible to make my blog posts automatically generate a tweet, but not to automatically generate a G+ post.

All the hassle of posting things multiple places leads me to just not bother at all some of the time, which is annoying too. There are some tools that would take G+ content and put it on Twitter, but without a character counter on G+, I don’t think this would be useful.

Anyone else having similar issues? How are you coping?

16 thoughts on “Social Overload

  1. Go for a real long term solution and just use Diaspora and just tell your friends why you chose it. (There are many good reasons.)

    1. You are right.

      But also that’s not practical. It just isn’t going to happen right now, particularly for the ones on Facebook. They will look at it as: “All my friends are on Facebook. Why bother?” And they would, in a certain sense, be sadly right.

  2. Your captcha does not work without JavaScript, please fix it.

    Don’t tell Eben Moglen you are still on Facebook:

    Don’t bother. Just publish what you want, when you want, on your website. If the software you use on your website doesn’t offer microblogging/etc/blah, add your own instance of StatusNet, Diaspora, whatever. For those social networks that don’t offer aggregation (from your own site), post one last post saying where you are moving to and move on.

  3. i got rid of facebook, and twitter pretty easily.

    I reset the passwords to really long diceware passphrases and gpg encrypted a file containing the passwords in my home drive. I’m really surprised it took that much willpower as i never used social networking heavily, but it can be really addictive.

    Now i use google plus and while not all of my friends use it, i’m not that worried about it.

  4. That’s simple. If you really want to use G+,a platform without write-API and without RSS/Atom for syndication for your G+less friends… you better post everything to G+ and use their read-API to re-post elsewhere.

    Twitter and Facebook may work really well bothl as primary or as secondary media. Yes, both are vendor-locked too, but at least they are mature and have good APIs. Whether to use them or not, is mostly a matter of who you talk there to, and how public/private they are. For me, my personal blog, my tech blog, Twitter and Facebook all connect me to different social circles.

    Niche social networks like or Diaspora may work only if you post mostly in public, but you already have a blog for that…

    Personally, I don’t think G+ is mature yet to use it as a primary social network. And many design flaws just don’t allow me to use it as the only tool. That said, I mostly use LiveJournal when I want to control access rights and HTML, FB to anything which I think is actually public, and Twitter for mostly public talk with people I don’t really know. Links, tech stuff, politics, occasional life event. Somehow I am reluctant to update my Blogger tech blogs, and use Tumblr to write short notes which don’t fit 140 chars.

  5. I’ve just deleted today my Facebook and Google+ accounts today… Now I’m going use only Diaspora. Twitter just for reading for now.

    I prefer support a decentralized/alternative social network. I hope more people join Diaspora, so we can finally have a social network that do not depends of economic and corporate decisions and respects its users privacy.

    Every year a new social network will appear, people will move from one to another (or try use many as they can). Social networks will die and born. I prefer support one that is supported by a community with shared needs.

    I also think is important do not produce content in proprietary networks. If you share your thoughts there, people will want stay there to read your interesting thoughts.

    The success of Diaspora depends of its users discussing and posting interesting content there.

  6. I’ve fixed this by leaving google services, including orkut, which I used a lot (2009), facebook (2010), twitter (2010) and never joined linkedin nor other service like that. Now it’s just about and diaspora accounts which I use about 1 time each 2 months. I hope I leave flickr soon as well. Result is losing contact with old friends, but making new ones. I assume that if friendship depends on facebook there’s something wrong. I’ve just received a letter from friend in Brazil. I’m waiting my wife who arrives in a few mintes to open it together :) Reading more books and learning new musical instruments also count here.

    1. What you say is true – “if a friendship depends on Facebook, there’s something wrong.” But it is also true that some of our relatives only post things like family photos to Facebook, and there are things I’d miss out on if I completely left. That said, I deeply dislike Facebook for a lot of reasons and try to have a minimal interaction there.

  7. I’m all about keeping the blog going. For publishing, it’s totally under your control and you can push things from there through to and then to twitter and facebook if you want. If people make comments out on those platform if you want to respond you can always go there and respond. It lets people follow you in the way that is most comfortable for them. As for not publishing short things… I think there’s no reason not to, blog posting fashions of the day are a pretty fickle master.

    For reading and responding, I’m personally all over the place, I wish I could get just the most interesting things to pop up in my rss reader when I’m desperately in need of a info fix,(which I guess is why I subscribe to this blog ;) ) but so far that’s been a challenge.

  8. Hi,

    I have more or less the same problem (Twitter, Facebook, G+, Status.Net, Homepage/Blog, Linked.In, Xing, Friendica)

    My current usage:
    – Homepage/Blog as my “business card” and for long public articles
    – Status.Net for short notices and to follow free software people
    – Twitter to follow people from politics, etc. I forward my messages to Twitter but never write active
    – Xing/Linked.In passive just for business contacts
    – Facebook for family contacts, more or less passive
    – G+ sadly replaces more and more Status.Net. But I can understand it, technically speaking it is a really nice platform.
    – Friendica to play arround with it. A really nice distributed social network which can connect with many existing networks.

    So my usage comes down to
    actively: Homepage/Blog, Status.Net and G+
    passive: Twitter, Facebook, Xing, Linked.In

    (Maybe twitter and StatusNet will switch in the future. I’m not really happy with 1.x and since most free software people seems to move to G+)

    I think that’s OK but of course could be better.

    Regarding distributed social networks like Diaspora and Friendica. At the beginning I like it a lot but they have two drawbacks:
    1. Not that much people online, which of course can improve in the future.
    2. On social networks like Facebook, G+, Friendica/Diaspora I want to share public and private posts. Even if Facebook and probably G+ has many problems regarding privacy etc it is one central place where I can delete my data and can control the access to the data. On distributed systems even my private messages get spread over hundreds of servers (depending where my friends are). I can’t revoke the messages from all that servers and I have to trust all the different admins of the server. The more I think about it I’m not sure if this is really an improvement.

  9. Since G+ is read only the simplest solution is to post there and use a variety of methods to post to facebook, twitter, and I’ve been using Agent G for fb and identi and ManageFlitter for twitter. There’s also some chrome plugins i believe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.