If someone asked you to reflect on your experiences with social media, you’d probably be stumped. Personal? Professional? Good? Bad? Social media experiences, at least for me, fall into many different categories. Do you want to talk about online security issues? Marketing strategy? Cultural implications?
Social media is user-generated content, so experiences with it are as varied as the tools you choose to use and the people you choose (and don’t choose) to interact with. Since my first fore into social media, the options for social networks and the number of people using them has exploded.
I began as a purely personal user, looking to share information with family and friends. Social media now infiltrates my personal and professional life. It has implications of which I never dreamed (see my post on social media during an emergency). All of this user-generated content amounts to a staggering amount of information. Our world now creates as much content every 48 hours as the content from the beginning of time to 2003.* I can see it in my online social networks: my mom is on Facebook.
But as the social media world gets filled with more networks and more people, what and where do you contribute? If people are creating that much content, is there anything left to say? And where should you say it?
The differences between social networks are both obvious and nuanced, but this infographic helps keep some basic guidelines clear. As a side note, this diagram would also be a good poster to prominently display in bars for those people who have not yet instituted the “I shall not post while I’m drinking” rule.
This guide won’t help you generate your content, but it will help you discern between some of the most populated landscapes currently in the game: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare, and it adequately addresses some of the current perception challenges and trends impacting these social networks.
As for this post, I’m posting it in my blog and announcing it on Twitter and Facebook.
*statistic from Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google