What I’m doing with social media now

What I’m doing with social media now

Greetings from a nice early August, not less than by way of climate. I’m again house within the Washington DC space and the warmth wave has moved on.  It’s nonetheless very heat (84 levels F) and humid, however not so beastly because it was a few weeks in the past.

I’ve a stack of analytical and even polemical posts within the pipeline, however right this moment wished to supply considered one of my irregular posts about my digital habits.  The reason being that in a single specific space issues have grow to be chaotic, and I believed I may:

  1. pin down my observe at this second in time, not less than for my very own information, but additionally as a documentary pattern of social media use in August 2023
  2. elicit suggestions and recommendations
  3. stir some dialog on the subject

The subject is social media, broadly construed. 2023 has pushed the expertise and its consumer conduct into every kind of instructions, between Elon Musk’s demolition of Twitter (I nonetheless can’t write or say “X”), the growth and bust of a supposed Mastodon succession, the emergence of latest platforms (Threads, Bluesky), and no matter is occurring to Fb as Meta offers up on its Metaverse.  To not point out the influence of generative AI.

For my very own observe, I make selections based mostly on a number of components, principally balancing analysis pursuits {and professional} productiveness.

Right here’s what I’m doing now.  Hyperlinks if you happen to’re like to attach:

Conventional social media

Twitter/”X” Because the service first launched through the failure of a web-based podcast mission (oh sure) I’ve used Twitter extensively, primarily for skilled functions. I share what my analysis turns up and attempt to get suggestions on it, whereas studying from the individuals I comply with.  I’ve been a long-time occasion stay tweeter and in addition studied how individuals use it for storytelling. I’ve additionally taught individuals use it in numerous methods through the years.

On the desktop, I depend on Tweetdeck, the place I’ve a bunch of searches and lists operating, all repeatedly tweaked and tuned.

Tweetdeck sample 2023 August 6

About 20% of my Tweetdeck span.

Once I can’t use my laptops or desktops I fall again on the cell app.  The cell app can also be how I do most of my picture posting, since I both take photographs with my telephone or ship photographs from my digicam there.

Since Musk bought Twitter the one change I’ve skilled (in addition to the identify and having to purchase verification for a way extensively I take advantage of it) is a few decline in customers and exercise, on account of some variety of individuals chopping down exercise or leaving.  The amount of Twitter-bashing has gone up, and is now rather more political in content material, however I’ve been used to that because the begin.

I haven’t discovered a platform that replaces or succeeds Twitter but.

LinkedIn That is purely skilled for me.  No enjoyable posts, no cat pics. I by no means publish something there natively; as an alternative, I share hyperlinks and observations that I’ve discovered or made.  Dialog isn’t very excessive in quantity, however does are typically properly centered – i.e., little chaff.

Individuals do use the heck out of LinkedIn for skilled contacting.  I’ve seen lots of people supply their LinkedIn profile web page as their essential URL.  I get plenty of connection requests… however little dialog follows.

What I don’t do, and will, is make a degree of checking the LinkedIn information feed repeatedly.

Fb That is each profitable and irritating.   Profitable in that I talk with an terrible lot of individuals right here, and a wild vary of oldsters besides, from elementary faculty mates to students world wide.  There’s plenty of dialog, particularly once I keep away from Fb’s tips to decrement posts, like sharing URLs. And but Fb’s algorithm apparently thinks my most attention-grabbing content material is nothing to do with my work. Tutorial and futures posts reliably vanish from my community’s ken, whereas posts about absolutely anything else – cats, meals, sensible expertise questions, politics, films – obtain much more consideration.

So why use it in any respect?  To start with, plenty of my Fb connections use that as their essential social media web site, and I’d lose them by exiting. For an additional, Fb teams can truly be helpful. I recognize a bunch: one on the Reacting to the Previous academic recreation, one other on common increased ed, one on educational design, and so on.  For a 3rd cause: some lecturers contact me there with skilled questions and alternatives.

For being a supposedly “useless” platform, I get severe use out of it.  And talking of Zuckerberg –

Instagram That is most likely my most irritating platform lately.  For a while now I’ve been instructing myself (and studying from very beneficiant mates) images. I wish to share my greatest outcomes, particularly so I can get suggestions: validation of what works, recommendations for enhance. I additionally wish to doc some issues: my work, my travels, my vegan cooking.

So I publish to Insta pretty repeatedly, but this exercise doesn’t get a lot traction. Every publish normally nets a handful of notices and little or no suggestions.

I’m considering of rebooting my Instapractice, however am undecided how, or if it’s worthwhile, as I could have been doing it mistaken lengthy sufficient to depress that account.  I *may* do all vegan on a regular basis, maybe by increasing to incorporate pictures of elements, cookbooks, and so on.  I do know there’s an viewers for it. I simply haven’t linked.

I’d like to emphasise the way forward for increased training – my work – as an alternative, however that’s more durable to do. Loads of what I do doesn’t actually work in sq. photographs. Articles and books I write don’t get a lot of a response.  The Insta desktop expertise isn’t nice, and I’m undecided about thumbing out the equal of weblog posts there. Maybe there’s a increased ed group there and I simply haven’t discovered it.

I’m open to recommendations.

Dix Hills library aisle

My hottest pic on Flicks, in line with stats, and considered one of my favorites: an aisle from my childhood library.

Flickr is in some methods a greater expertise for my photographs.  It’s a much more satisfying desktop expertise. The quantity of stuff you are able to do with pictures is way richer. I like that it’s net native. In actual fact, considered one of my essential Flickr makes use of is looking out Artistic Commons fashion for photographs to make use of in displays and movies. I like having a number of selections right here, plus the benefit of posting a URL as credit score.

And but Flickr’s consumer base appears to have fallen since they missed the cell boat. I not often get a lot in the way in which of on-platform motion, though it’s gratifying when individuals in different venues use my visible work.

Rising social media

Threads I’ve been utilizing this for just a few weeks, and don’t have a really feel for it but.  I publish and browse, nevertheless it appears scattered.  I actually with it had a desktop/net consumer.

Bluesky Simply received on (they’re very measurement restricted) and am exploring.  Haven’t had an prolonged dialog there but.

Mastodon I’ve been attempting this for years, going between completely different accounts and plenty of servers, and I believe I’ve settled into one mixture eventually.  Conversations are prime quality, albeit small in scale.

I don’t have time to problem my full critique of Mastodon right here, however just a few notes: it’s nonetheless awkward, particularly the inter-server points. Some customers are very useful, which is badly wanted, since onboarding is a ache.  A lot relies on the identification and administration of a given server.

Bear in mind Net 2.0?

Ah, again within the twenty first century’s first decade a few of us spoke of net 2.0, a successor to the Nineteen Nineties’ net, as soon as that was extra social, cocreative, with a lot of microcontent and extra. It was the glory days of running a blog, wikis, and RSS.  (In actual fact, maybe the preferred article I ever wrote was one I authored with the wonderful Alan Levine, on net 2.0 storytelling.)

I stick with a few of these historic platforms:

The weblog I’ve run many blogs through the years, and preserve writing at this one.  I’ve praised it earlier than, so right here I’ll simply point out that it’s a delight to write down right here.  It’s additionally a key a part of my skilled work, a spot to share concepts, host dialog, and develop ideas over time.

Medium I’ve been utilizing this web site for just a few years.  Often I share weblog posts there, which takes some vital formatting, as a result of Medium’s import engine saved failing, and so I’ve to manually repair unhealthy quotations and embeds.

On the one hand I benefit from the clear feel and look of articles on the location.  On the opposite, there’s little or no materials about schools and universities, and never a lot dialogue.

I’ve considered writing extra stuff there, natively, to push dialogue on increased ed.

I truly managed to monetize Medium, though the outcomes are paltry, a few cents an article.

RSS reader – this stays central to my workflow.  I comply with a bunch of feeds, organized by classes: libraries, futurists, progressive politics, shoppers, and so on. Inoreader is what I take advantage of, because it’s dependable and clear.

When social media and e mail blur

We will outline social media in slim phrases, to deal with latest social platforms. I like to incorporate e mail on this, partly from my historic sense, and since e mail simply received’t die.  In actual fact, it’s central to plenty of digital observe.

What do I do with e mail, in addition to pursue the Sisyphean activity of attempting to get the variety of emails in my inbox down beneath 4 digits?   Principally I keep a sequence of e mail announcement lists about numerous tasks, notably the Future Traits Discussion board.  Hundreds of persons are on these lists.

Just lately I launched a Substack about AI and the way forward for increased training.  Substack is attention-grabbing right here, in that it’s amphibious.  On the one hand it’s a traditional e mail e-newsletter, whereas on the opposite it has every kind of net 2.0 and social media affordances: feedback, sharing, liking, and so forth.

I’m additionally interested by establishing a dialogue checklist on the subject of how the local weather disaster and better training intersect.

Wealthy media as social media

One other angle of the social media definition query is which media we embrace.  Often it’s easy textual content (posts, feedback) and pictures, plus the power to embed audio and video information.  I’d received a bit additional and embrace platforms centered on audio and video.

For video, YouTube looms largest to me.  I publish some stuff to Vimeo for my Patreon supporters, however YouTube stays the large. There I share principally Future Traits Discussion board movies, plus no matter else I could make. I hope to do extra.

For audio, I’m a giant podcasting fan.  I’ve been a visitor on many packages and have been planning on launching my very own for just a few years.  (It’s all the time a query of time.) I’m a each day listener; my present podcatcher is the Google Podcasts app on my Android telephone.

Social media I’m not utilizing

Right here I’ll take up the pretty expansive definition I’ve been creating on this publish.

Slack – I’m undecided what lands me within the no-Slacking group.  Partly it’s the “oh ye gods, one other app to fret about” drawback, as I principally stay in net browsers. Partly I should be actively concerned in a mission or group with plenty of Slack happening, and I haven’t been for some time.

The Metaverse – I’ve been learning, researching, instructing about, and dealing on this topic because the Nineteen Eighties, however I’m not at present a part of any social digital world. Principally it’s time and an absence of viewers.

Tiktok – I’ve been bouncing off of this one for some time, principally as a result of I actually need to management my feeds. I don’t like giving up my incoming content material to a black field.  It jogs my memory of the published television I grew up with within the Seventies and offends my properly practiced RSS habits. Plus I desire content material that has a while to breathe and make an argument.

I’m open to with the ability to make Tiktok work for me, not less than till america prohibits me from doing so.

A notice on observe

Through the day I repeatedly verify my social media feeds.  Inoreader I learn first, adopted by a sequence: Twitter, Mastodon, Instagram, Bluesky, and Threads. That’s to check out numerous subjects whereas additionally getting a form of pulse for the world.Fb comes later, because it feels completely different: much less information oriented, extra checking on individuals.

Once I need to share stuff… it relies on its supply and nature. Usually I’ll share a thought or a calmly amended hyperlink to a supply in keeping with my analysis pursuits, and there I run it throughout every platform, calmly edited for context (@-ing somebody who’s on one platform however not one other, including alt textual content for Mastodon, and so on). So I’ll publish it to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon if I’m at my desktop or laptop computer machines; Instagram, Bluesky, and Threads if on my telephone.  Bear in mind my objectives of sharing info, studying, and sparking conversations.

In distinction, once I’ve created one thing, I attempt to weblog it to start with, as a result of I’m a running a blog diehard, as a result of I personal this weblog, as a result of it’s on the open net, and since individuals can index and touch upon it.  Then I unfold the phrase throughout as many venues as doable, hopefully together with a picture, and all the time with a hyperlink. Generally I make one thing not on the weblog – video (YouTube primarily) or Substack, or one thing hosted by one other entity (interview, article) – after which comply with my blog-based behavior of sharing it throughout platforms.

Again to previous social media: I additionally e mail individuals based mostly on their pursuits, reaching out to them about one thing I did or discovered. Generally that’s simply behavior, as once I keep in mind a sure particular person is interested by a sure copyright problem, say.  In any other case I verify a spreadsheet of pleasant people, their pursuits famous, and ping them.  Once more, the concept right here is to spark dialog.

…and that’s all for August 2023. As we speak I’m not going to forecast the place these habits and platforms could be headed.  As a substitute I simply wished to doc a second in time, a snapshot of expertise practices.

Please be happy to share your individual in feedback.  I’d additionally like to listen to your suggestions.

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