Social Networking - Updating your status: all or nothing?

2009-09-17 Personal Culture Tips & Tricks

Yesterday I was stumbling over a Facebook status update from Oisin Hurley ...

Oisin Hurley is starting to get a bit irritated with people that unselectively duplicate their twitter stream to their Facebook status. They're different interactions, people.

This is an interesting observation and creates a bigger question: where do we go with this social-networking, micro-blogging, status-update thingy?

Initially it was easy: there was just/only twitter and this was the place to do micro-blogging and status-updates, but by now all social-networking sites (Facebook, Linked-In, XING, Plaxo, Bebo, ...) have a similar feature. On top of that all major IM platforms (AIM, MSN, Skype, ...) by now also feature a status-update feature, means as a user you are between a rock and a hard place: you either update them all at once (and "over-communicate") or you update them separately (and spend a lot of time on it).

In my case my social networks are not segmented by type/kind or friend, means it is not that all my personal friends are on Facebook and my business friends are on Twitter. The segmentation is more on the tools side. Some of my friends use Facebook (only), some use Twitter (only) and some use both. Looking at it from this point of view I want to send my micro-blog entries/status updates to both or even all of of my social-networking sites (this is what Barack Obama is doing :)).

Another way to look at it is maybe a segmentation by content type, means there are probably different kind of messages: more private/personal mood-messages/updates (Roland is happy. Just started a rocket with Alexandros.) , more professional micro-blog entries (Roland is working to make Lightsabre run on Android), more factual statements (e.g. a location) (Roland is in Dublin), ... and so on. Question is ... do these content types somehow map themselves to different sites/tools? I am not really sure about this, because currently people do not pick their social networking sites/tools on purpose or by brand (e.g. Facebook is the social-network for friends and Twitter is the social-network for news, professional live and marketing), means one content type might be interesting for half the people on my Facebook network and half the people on my Twitter network.

That kind of leads me to a (suggested) conclusion: the solution is not to send certain updates only to one site or the other. The solution is to create groups of people in every network and have tools which allow you to send certain messages to these groups on your networks.

Any other thoughts? Suggestions?