Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ways I Use Social Media

Alright so over the past year my dad has started to use the Facebook. And a couple of arguments have cropped up. Don't worry this is not about bashing my dad. No. See those arguments arise because we use social media differently so for I while now I wanted to talk about how I use social.

Primary Source Awareness
I'm interested in a lot of stuff. But most of that stuff doesn't have the mass appeal that will allow me to hear about it via traditional media. So I use Twitter as a way of keeping tabs on my favorite directors, guys in interesting industries, or even the companies and organizations themselves to see what they're working on.

News Aggregation
Alright so this topic is kind of big and unwieldy in journalism so I'll just say this. News aggregation is better for the consumer. I didn't say the news industry. I said consumer.

They allow the consumer to customize and organize the news their getting. And that's kind of cool. Let's say I was a chef. I'm kind of hungry but anyway. If I were a chef in a restaurant the reviews typically in the lifestyle section would be much more relevant to me than a general audience. I might even want to bump them up and put them in the same category as say the more business stuff and being able do that automatically every day, no muss no fuss is kind of cool. Also I can incorporate some more niche sites into my feeds that I might forget to check otherwise.  So go Feedly, but Twitter and Facebook aren't Feedly so what makes them different, well like I said before they let you look at primary sources, but Twitter does two other things really well.

By limiting the space of the headline they give the end user a really good at a glance feed of whats going on. And Twitter is organized by time so you always know the order of what's going on. I don't have to look at a time stamp to know if this WaPo article was written a couple of hours after this NY Times article and for some of the big stories that might matter. Also since a Facebook/Twitter post is easier to write than a fullblown article sometimes you get some info that hasn't gotten all the way around the world yet.

Information Aggregation
Twitter trends are a good way to at a glance figure out what people are talking about. Case in point there is a hypothesis out there that twitter mentions can help predict elections. I am not that smart so I'll just say that sometimes trends clue me into stuff that I had no idea was a big deal.

Emergency Communication
Okay for a brief time in my life I interned at a power company. And I got to see first hand how they used social media and they made an insight that blew my mind. In a power outage, especially with all of these new VoIP phones, people will be grabbing they're mobiles. They're just more versatile in these situations because they have data plans that can still access the internet without a router and don't require and external power least for a few hours anyway. In the chaos of trying to figure out what's going on people are going to head to those primary sources I mentioned.  What do the police or gas company say about the situation?

Celebrity Communication
Okay I'm going to have to redefine celebrity here. A celebrity as I mean it is anybody I probably wouldn't have had the means to talk to directly before the internet.  So I don't just mean the Beib here, but also politicians, industry leaders and media professionals. A lot of them do pay attention to and do respond to tweets even if that isn't always a good thing.

Self Promotion and Project Sharing
Okay I'm broke. But there is a lot of stuff I do that I'm proud of and one day might make me less broke. I want to get that stuff to as large an audience as possible so. Yeah. Story ideas, interviews, short stories, quasi articles, they get linked on Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook
In short I use Facebook as a personalized interactive address book, which people can an actually do change so I don't have to. I can see stuff like who moved or who has a new phone number, email address or whatever. Further more if all else fails and I absolutely positively have to get in touch with someone I can just text them speak of which.

Don't ask my why, but I hate phones. I think that it's because I'm absolutely horrible at making small talk so texting and while I'm at it e-mailing is just a forms of communication I'm more comfortable with.

The Profile
Again I suck at small talk. I'm not the type of guy who's going to start off a conversation going "Oh my god I love that one movie" Don't me wrong I love me some movies. But there are large aspects of my personality that are hidden by a giant wall. I chock it up to my adolescence where everything I liked was used as an excuse to mess with me. Anyway.

My Facebook profile and also the thing your reading are ways that people interested in who I am can find out my thoughts, opinions, and things I'm kind of interested in. And if they aren't into that stuff well they can just click over to another site. No harm no foul. I don't wind up feeling like a dumb ass for going on a 10 minute rave about how Scott Pilgrim is kind of awesome. Though seriously Scott Pilgrim is awesome watch that movie.

The Profile 2.0
Yeah. I want to be available if people have an project, idea or job for me to do so yeah I want my contact information to be in a place where people can see it. I don't want there to ever be a situation where people couldn't get in contact with me. Though the touch screen on my phone is making that happen. When did we start thinking buttons were evil?

Non Sequitur
Okay so I have a lot of stuff in my head that I think is funny or interesting that I just don't say because I don't think the person I'm talking to at that moment has a wide enough reference base to get the joke. But with the possible audience of the internet that's not as much a concern. The main man here can make a reference to the LOBO paramilitary holiday special and someone somewhere will get it even if it's like two people.  And frag 'em that don't. It's not as fun keeping those movie quotes and pop culture references to myself so sometimes I'll just let one go. I'm kind of a media guy that way.

Flash Ideas
Most of my really good stuff goes here on this blog. But sometimes I'll have a thought I think worth sharing that is one sentence. Off to Facebook it goes.

Personal News
Yeah I don't keep tabs on people as much as I should but if I were paying attention I would totally know when I have a wedding to get ready for.

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