Pinterest: I think I love you!

Pinterest

I was hesitant to answer the invite to join yet another social network. But I’m so glad I did.

Pinterest isn’t like other social networks in my eyes. In fact, it  may very well be the first social network I actually enjoy …The first social network that doesn’t make me  angsty, angry or annoyed.

When I log onto Pinterest, it’s as if I am on a journey of discovery and enlightenment, a search for do-it-yourself projects (projects I never even knew I wanted to do myself).

Since joining, I’ve made a portable sewing kit out of a mason jar, a cork candle holder and a bedside table cover. I’ve even been inspired to decorate my garden.

Pinterest appeals to the OCD part of my brain that feels compelled to organize things. It also appeals to the visual part of my brain, which likes things to be organized in a clean and attractive fashion.

On Facebook and twitter I often feel like a spectator of other people’s “exciting” lives. Not so with Pinterest. Here there are no Farmville requests, no random status updates, no over sharing. I’m not cluttered by people’s private conversations made public. It’s all about what I find interesting. I can click on the posts that appeal to me and easily filter out those which don’t.

Ultimately, what I love best about Pinterest is how it sparks positive ideas that occupy my mind long after I’ve logged off. Instead of logging off Facebook or twitter with an ugly feeling, I am filled with a desire to beautify my life.

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Caption Contest

Welcome to the first-ever BTWWTF?!?! Caption Contest. The photo below is absolutely ripe for a caption!

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All about apples:
Quick and easy apple pancakes: recipe, fun facts

Are you a follower? Time to lead the purge charge

Illustration by Scott Hampson. Borrowed from http://laurelpapworth.com

Last week I noticed something very interesting about my personal twitter account: There is absolutely nothing interesting about my personal twitter account.

I was on auto-follow for a good portion of my early twitterings, and I ended up following a bunch of random people, bots, and businesses that mean about as much to me as  the unemployed mean to Herman Cain.

So here I am following more than 1,000 tweeps, and my eye-rolling rate increases significantly with each visit to twitter.

Time for a major purge.

Up until now I never really made a point to “unfollow” anyone. I guess I felt like “unfollowing” was a bit of a dirty word. Sort of like the infamous act of “unfriending” someone on Facebook. I didn’t want to hurt any feelings. I also worried about hurting my bottom line … my number of twitter followers.

This week I began slowly weeding through the people I follow, and “unfollowing” like a mad woman. I still have a ways to go, but I’ve made progress. This is the criteria by which I am choosing whom to keep:

  1.  We share similar values and interests.
  2. You inspire, entertain or amuse me.
  3.  I know you in real life, and you don’t entirely make me want to throw up in my mouth.
  4. You don’t claim to be a social media or marketing expert who can increase my followers and my income.
  5. You’re not a web cam porn star.

So far I’ve unfollowed about 200 people and I’ve lost about 75 followers. I am not taking it personally. I want my followers to find just as much value in following me, as I want to find value in following them. I would rather have a smaller, more attentive following, then a large following where I’m tweeting into a vacuum. Besides, I am pretty sure a lot of the people I have unfollowed so far are not even people at all as they unfollowed me back almost instantaneously.

Slowly, but surely, I am noticing that my twitter stream is becoming more relevant to my life, and I am more interested in logging in.

And so the purge continues …

What about you? What’s your feeling on following and unfollowing?

Basket case: Blogger seeks streamlined social media

I tend to be very OCD when it comes to neatness and organization. I recently decided to forgo elegant stainless steel appliances for shiny black because I knew the high likelihood of fingerprints on the stainless steel would most certainly push me over the edge.

Courtesy theludlowgroupblog.com

My house decor also incorporates quite a few decorative baskets in every room. I use them for the inevitable extraneous objects that seem to crop up: keys, shoes, bills, Mr. Potato Head ears … Unfortunately, these baskets seem to fill up faster than I can file things away. So I end up adding more baskets (This unintentionally sends a signal to the family to create more clutter. It’s a tangled web).

Yet somehow it works. I think I just feel better knowing that the potential energy said clutter is contained within some sort of system.

So what does this have to do with social media? For the purposes of this blog, let’s think of each of these clutter containing baskets as social media/networking-related sites: Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc.

Back in the day, I had just one social media basket, Myspace. I was content and satisfied. My photos were posted there. My blogs were written there. My friends were added there. Heck, I announced the arrival of my first born son there. Life was good.

Then it seemed the world defected to Facebook and I was lured there as well. Suddenly I wasn’t able to put all my eggs in one basket anymore. Photos were posted in two places. My networks were growing like weeds. Commenting became a challenge … and my MySpace Top 10 Friends List long neglected. Eventually, like most people, I let go of my Myspace account. Life was balanced again.

Then came Twitter. And Tumblr. And for half a second, Google Buzz. G+. Linked In. CafeMom. Hub Pages. WordPress. Blogger. Loopt. Blogged. Networked Blogs. Technorati. The list goes on and on. Perhaps these aren’t all traditional social networking sites, but each requires a certain level of social interaction, content posting, and engagement from its user. Meanwhile, even those companies and websites which aren’t social media driven are finding ways to integrate social media into their interface.

For a time, I could just unplug. Put the computer away.

Enter smartphone. Now it’s easy to be engaged 24 hours a day, on the go, in bed, and dare I say, at work…

Too many baskets. Too many eggs. I’m pretty sure we’re all about to crack.

As for me, I think it’s time to do a major social media streamlining. Get rid of the extra clutter. Maybe take up a new hobby. Maybe basket weaving.

Do you want to break up with Facebook?

Please feel free to expand on your feelings about Facebook in the comment section below:

Why I’m breaking up with Facebook: A Dear John Letter

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Facebook,

Oh how I struggle with this decision, even as I write this. We’ve had so many good times. But I  think it’s safe to say what we both know: Lately we’ve just grown apart. I feel like I don’t even know you anymore.

It was fun at first. The relentless poking. The constant checking for new notifications. The long hours we spent together late into the night. I could hardly wait until morning to see you again.

But then you started violating of my privacy. Shoving your agenda in my face.  Bombarding me with useless information. Distracting me from actual reality. Occasionally, you bragged about parties I wasn’t invited to. Often you made me feel inferior to others for the dreams I never acheived. Or ashamed for sharing the dreams I did.

I wanted to make it work. Really, I did. I thought I just needed some space. I tried spending my free time with Twitter. I even gave Four Square a shot.

But the other Social Networks couldn’t fill the gap. They made me feel empty inside.

That’s why I’m breaking up with you. To find myself again. I know this won’t make me popular with family and friends who think we should stay together. But it’s the right decision for me. This is my chance to live my life to the fullest again, in the moment, and in the real world; Not with my face buried in my smart phone factory-loaded Facebook App, lightly stalking your News Feeds.

It’s not you, Facebook. It’s me.

Warm Regards,

Aleza

Web 3.0

Posted by S.

Change is afoot. We are gradually heading into a media-centric society. Though we are well into the information age and the digital age, we have not yet transformed completely into dutiful robots, tuned in only to our hand-held devices.

Chang is a-coming, however. Watch for social networking feeds and status updates to appear in Google searches. Watch for changes in the way Facebook and Twitter are used. Watch out to not lose yourself in the midst of the uploading, downloading, posting, updating and texting. There may be more to life than pixels. Maybe. Maybe not.

It could be the revolution we’ve all been waiting for.