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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011

So many social networks, so little (fill in the blank)

Should I (and should you) have a presence on every damn social network favored by both geeks and civilians?

When a particular uber-geek (I'm thinking about you, @fabsh) leaves one social network (Identi.ca) for another (Google+), do we follow suit? Or just follow. Or not?

I've heard a lot of "well-followed" geek-types comment on how much more quickly they've been "circled" by followers in Google Plus in contrast to their Twitter following and are using the rapid uptake of their Google+ musings as a sign to put more emphasis into the new social network while doing much less with the old (Twitter, Identi.ca, Facebook).

So where do I stand in all of this? The Click blog has its own Facebook page (42 Facebook users "like" it), I'm somewhat active on Identi.ca, where I have 113 followers, and my Twitter feed is flirting with 300 followers (298 at the moment).

And Google+? You can see where I am in the widget either to the right or left of this post (depending on where you see it). Right now I've been "circled" by 63 other G+ users.

So how does a technology writer get more social-networking followers? Writing about popular topics (and writing a lot) helps. Posting a whole lot helps (but not too much).

Nowadays, when I want to post something, I send it to Google+ and Identi.ca (which in turn posts it to Twitter, which then posts it to Facebook; yes, it's automated -- deal with it). If my Google+ "following" suddenly eclipses my Twitter following, how could I not declare "victory" for G+?

Eventually I expect there to be a link between Twitter and Google+ much like that between Twitter, Identi.ca and Facebook, and it'll be easy to update every social network with a single post.

But will we (and I) want to do that indefinitely? While there's always picking and choosing about what we do on the Internet and which services we use and which we discard, I think there will always be at least a handful on which it's worth maintaining a presence. Others will fall off.

Google Buzz (yep, I have/had my Twitter feed supplying it with posts) will be gone soon. I never did anything with MySpace or Friendster. I'm not on LinkedIn (but we all probably should be).

There is a fatigue factor at work here. And a law of diminishing returns. Too much of either or both and it's /dev/null time. Am I right?