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Some reflections/comparisons of social networking sites

By Rosie Perera | July 22, 2011 at 1:58 am

As of July 10, I’ve joined Google+ so I’m now on the Big Three social networking sites that are still likely to have some future (MySpace is effectively dead). People have been making comparisons between them and are wondering which one(s) will survive.

I haven’t used G+ enough to have a thorough review of how I like it yet. I’ve just noticed a couple of minor things I like better than Facebook (e.g., it lets you get a permalink to a particular post: click the dropdown menu to the right of the post and select “Link to this post”), but I’m still not convinced it will replace FB for me. It’s still very much in that “early adopters” stage. I’ve joked with people that it’s easy to keep up with my G+ news feed because so few people are on it yet. That was back a few days ago when I had only 22 people in my “circles” and only 3 of them had ever posted anything. The traffic is picking up a bit for me, but it’s not overwhelming yet.

My initial concerns about Google+, shaped during a conversation with a friend who’d joined it before I’d gotten on, are that circles are not reciprocal (so it could be weird to have lopsided topical conversations among groups of people such as your workmates) and that it is going to take an inordinate amount of time to continually tweak all your circles to match who is in your in-person circles (which are in perpetual flux). I have group distribution lists in Outlook which I use for essentially what Google+ circles are for (I have one for extended family, grad school alum friends, etc.), and yet mine are never up-to-date. Do I really need yet another forum where I have to manage such groupings of contacts?

I got on Twitter as an experiment to help out with a lecture on social networking at Regent. I’ve tweeted sporadically, but I’m finding that because I have so few followers there, I’m more likely to want to post stuff on Facebook. But I’m dutifully continuing to tweeting on Twitter, sometimes copying the same message I posted on FB, just to keep up the experiment a while longer. I am now following 116 Twitter accounts, and that’s simply too much to keep up with the influx of tidbits. I occasionally take time out to follow an interesting link, and will probably keep that up randomly. At least it’s something I can take a Sabbath break from for a while when I’m feeling overloaded, without any cost to my sense of connectedness to friends.

Here are a few good articles I’ve come across comparing and contrasting two or more of these sites:

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