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Twitter, FaceBook, et al
Old 12-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Twitter, FaceBook, et al

Most of us are probably old fogies with no interest in social media, though we're clearly PC/Net savvy. It doesn't look attractive to me from a social interaction POV (like kids use them), but I keep reading about people using the sites very effectively as:
  • a sort of Buyers Guide, getting candid reviews on products & services before buying - instead of ads or establishment buyers guides,
    • yes I can ask friends, or here and other forums, but FaceBook has 500 million members, that could be an amazing resource (or headache). And like everything on the internet, a healthy dose of skepticism is required.
  • business using them for marketing to consumers (best example I've found seems to be Ford's use of Twitter throughout the rollout of their new Fiesta model - a fascinating and evidently effective effort). I just read an article online stating 43% of companies used social media for business use (my MegaCorp is just starting to talk about it).
  • Other?
At any rate, I'm tempted to jump in to explore some of these up and coming uses. Anyone else ventured in?
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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It strikes me that using this forum (or any other) is a form of social networking.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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I use both sites heavily. There are too many benefits to list.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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I use both sites heavily. There are too many benefits to list.
Couldn't agree more.

Of course, like anything else in life, you have the over-the-top fanatics as well as the naysayers, but I've had nothing but positive experiences using social media to stay in touch and keep tabs on friends and family members that I'd probably never get around to calling.

In addition, I use it to discover otherwise unadvertised discounts and specials and perhaps most of all, to stay on top of bleeding-edge news and trends in my industry.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #5
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When you have a kid at home, you hear things like "I'm going to such and such movie." or "We had fun water skiing," or "What a great turkey dinner I had."

When he or she leaves, twitter restores those comments about what's happening.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Most of us are probably old fogies with no interest in social media, though we're clearly PC/Net savvy. It doesn't look attractive to me from a social interaction POV (like kids use them), but I keep reading about people using the sites very effectively as:
  • business using them for marketing to consumers
  • Other?
At any rate, I'm tempted to jump in to explore some of these up and coming uses. Anyone else ventured in?
Technical questions on integrating Wordpress, Facebook, & Twitter

I'm starting to get into blogging. OTOH the revenue is pretty much directly proportional to the effort... only with a significant time lag before critical mass is achieved. I'm glad I'm doing this as a non-profit, because if I was a "starving author" then the first would have happened way before the second.

I've watched non-profit organizations use Facebook & Twitter very effectively for publicity and for coordinating their volunteers. Before those networks this could only have been done with extensive phone trees, e-mail, or even public-relations firms. One of spouse's non-profits uses Facebook almost exclusively for deckplate volunteer coordination because they'll see it there before they think to check their e-mail.

Another most excellent use of Facebook has been vicariously enjoying our kid's college experience. She's friended us on the condition that we never, ever, ever post to her wall, not even to "like" anything she puts up. In exchange she's promised that we won't see any pictures of her wearing a beer hat... and just a beer hat. It really helps us keep up with her life without intrusive phone calls & e-mails.

She even admits that she's read my Facebook posts and my blog.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:27 PM   #7
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I use Facebook quite a lot. The search function has allowed me to re-connect with people I'd lost contact with years ago.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
[LIST][*]a sort of Buyers Guide, getting candid reviews on products & services before buying - instead of ads or establishment buyers guides,
  • yes I can ask friends, or here and other forums, but FaceBook has 500 million members, that could be an amazing resource (or headache). And like everything on the internet, a healthy dose of skepticism is required.
? How do you find these buyer's guides? - ERD50
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
? How do you find these buyer's guides? - ERD50
Poor choice of words on my part probably. From what I've read, people can just look for a specific product they're interested in an get tons of feedback from actual buyers. And maybe even discount ideas, etc.

But only based on what I've read...though I'm like to join FaceBook or Twitter pretty soon. Is one better than the other?
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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I love FB & use it to keep in touch with my friends. We even have a private group on the street where we live for stuff we want to share just between ourselves.

I don't get Twitter & wish I did! For example, I've read that you can use it to help you when you're traveling. It can provide tips on restaurants etc. But I don't know how to use it for that purpose. Anyone care to elaborate?
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
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I don't use Facebook myself but did find the movie "The Social Network" to be quite good. It went through the history of how FB was first started by a couple Harvard students to the $23B company it is today.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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I use Twitter as a news feed instead of as a two way social media. I follow MSNBC_Breaking, CNNbrk, CNBC, WSJpersfinance, WSJ_Econ, etc for breaking news items and links to new articles. Also, you can do a keyword search for tweets on breaking topics. The first day of election protests in Iran, searching on the keyword #Iran would return 300 or more new tweets every second coming in, many from students in the protests, and many with links to their uploaded cell phone video from the streets there.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:11 PM   #13
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I use Facebook to keep up with DS and DD, who are away at college. I'll admit i have searched for and found a few old HS friends. But, while we have re-connected, we haven't really stayed connected.

Twitter on the other hand seems like such a waste of time to me. I don't get anything out of it. Acquaintances who use it type in things like "arrived in Singapore, time for dinner now"...or "Boarding now, back in 3 hours", or, "had ramen for lunch today". I just want to shout "who cares?!?!" when I see stuff like that. Doubt I will ever find it useful for me, even though I'm sure it is meaningful for some.

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Old 12-11-2010, 12:15 AM   #14
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DW and I have been going to Jamaica for 3 years. We met some great people and go back with them every year and it seems a few more join the group every year. We us FB to keep in touch. Works so much better than chat rooms and such. I also keep in touch with a few old coworkers, the few I actually liked anyway. Good way to keep up with family too.
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:11 AM   #15
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Twitter on the other hand seems like such a waste of time to me. I don't get anything out of it. Acquaintances who use it type in things like "arrived in Singapore, time for dinner now"...or "Boarding now, back in 3 hours", or, "had ramen for lunch today". I just want to shout "who cares?!?!" when I see stuff like that. Doubt I will ever find it useful for me, even though I'm sure it is meaningful for some.
It took me quite a while to "get" Twitter. And really it's a different tool for different people. For "kids" I see it as texting on steroids. For the critical reader, however, I see two big advantages to Twitter over, say, a forum. First, since each "post" is limited to 140 characters your author must be brief or use a link, and you quickly figure out whether you want to read that author and/or follow his/her link. Second is the broad reach. Or perhaps the tunability. You follow people whose tweets you like and can unfollow or put on a list people you don't want in your face. But through retweets and hash tags you have access to an expanded universe of readership or reading material. I'm sure I'm not explaining this well, but through a retweet you might find someone new and interesting to read, and through hash lists you might find yourself in a topic of interest to you and many others.

Yeah, I'm sure I'm not making any sense. But it's cool. Trust me.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:54 AM   #16
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Just joined Facebook - mainly to find old friends. It's OK - some people are addicted to it and share TMI. However, it is an quick way to send a message to someone without having to know their email. I'm very low key and mind my own business for the most part.

Haven't done twitter - I can tell I'm getting old as I cringe at all of the new applications one has to learn---perhaps its the combination of the fast pace of the changes as well. Whatever comes out has bugs and it seems you barely get used to that or fix the bugs before you are encouraged to move onto something else new....

And I agree with R_i_T - this board is a form of social networking as well.

Sort of on topic - I also just purchased an iPod Touch - yet another interface and applications to learn. To me the sign of a well made human interface for an application is one that is more intuitive - like Angry Birds or Ragdoll Cannons - it makes sense when you play it or use it. Awful waste of time, thought.....:-) And not why I originally bought the Touch - sigh.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:46 AM   #17
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:06 AM   #18
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Second is the broad reach. Or perhaps the tunability. You follow people whose tweets you like and can unfollow or put on a list people you don't want in your face. But through retweets and hash tags you have access to an expanded universe of readership or reading material.
Yeah, I'm sure I'm not making any sense. But it's cool. Trust me.
I liked your story of how you figured why a host's server was down by searching for hashtags and then monitoring all the real-time tweets about the actual reason the host hadn't brought it back up yet. Twitter is the best network I've ever seen for that sort of issue, and the closest thing to it would be IRC. There's no way that reporting could have kept up over a discussion board or even FB. Even IRC wouldn't be able to handle the traffic.

That host probably had their own Twitter feed, but if they'd used it to tell the truth from the start then they wouldn't have been so badly busted by all their followers. Not the kind of reputation you want associated with your own hashtag...

I add hashtags to the tweets from my blog posts in the hope that other readers of those hashtags will find the blog and other military ER topics. But hashtags right now are about where Usenet was in 1998.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:40 AM   #19
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It took me quite a while to "get" Twitter. And really it's a different tool for different people. For "kids" I see it as texting on steroids. For the critical reader, however, I see two big advantages to Twitter over, say, a forum. First, since each "post" is limited to 140 characters your author must be brief or use a link, and you quickly figure out whether you want to read that author and/or follow his/her link. Second is the broad reach. Or perhaps the tunability. You follow people whose tweets you like and can unfollow or put on a list people you don't want in your face. But through retweets and hash tags you have access to an expanded universe of readership or reading material. I'm sure I'm not explaining this well, but through a retweet you might find someone new and interesting to read, and through hash lists you might find yourself in a topic of interest to you and many others.

Yeah, I'm sure I'm not making any sense. But it's cool. Trust me.
Thanks for the description. I really don't "get" Twitter yet at all (but then I don't text at all, either). Your description of Twitter sounds the most appealing of any that I have read.

It sounds like the ultimate "ignore list", in a sense, since you only follow those whose posts you want to read.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:48 AM   #20
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I have no interest in FB or Twitter. I tried FB for a week last year and thought it was a waste of time, the same sentiment Betty White had in her SNL monologue earlier this year.

EMail, IM, some message boards, and the good old-fashioned telephone (not a cell phone, I hate those, too) are plenty fine for me.
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