How many social networks is too many?

08Jul11

Here's part of my Google + screen. Still figuring out how to use this network so it's not a repeat of Facebook or Twitter.

Let me ask you something – do you sometimes feel like a little spread thin when it comes to your social networks? I mean between my social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Google+), my location-based services (Foursquare, Hashable and Google Latitude) and my blog (WordPress and the still unknown fate of Tumblr that I haven’t quite worked out the det’s for) I’m not feeling like I’m giving 100% of myself to any one network.

I was reading a great article today about the pro’s and con’s of Google+ and when I finished it I had to say outloud – “Do we really need another social network to keep up with?”

I found that ever since I started using Google+ all people talk about on there is (you guessed it!) Google+!

As gorgeous as the UI is, much of Google+ is solving gaps that other social networks choose not to – I’m sure you’ve read the dozens of pro/con articles out there. The circles feature solves for Facebook’s inability to group friends letting us share updates with certain groups versus 100’s of acquaintances. I’ve found shortcuts for ways to share articles on multiple networks (tweeting with #in adds to my LinkedIn stream, #fb for my Facebook) but now I need to learn a whole new set of shortcuts. Anyone feeling like it’s getting a little much?

I haven’t properly integrated my life with Hashable yet let alone Google+….and yet I sit here staring at the UI thinking: this is pretty sexy. How am I going to make this happen? I just can’t WAIT to customize my feeds and profiles on here. Sick isn’t it?

So tell me – how many networks is too many? Have all you Google+ users found a way to integrate the new network into your day-to-day? Is Google+ going to add to the noise (think Google Buzz which never took off on my end for that very reason)? Is there going to be a whole niche set of users on the system or is it just more noise to filter out?

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4 Responses to “How many social networks is too many?”

  1. Yeah, I’ve made a conscious decision (at least for now) to avoid Google+ simply because I’m already thinly spread across most of the networks you mention above.

    And…I question the value I’m getting out of many of them. Facebook is simply boring to me. I don’t need to know you’ve just finished washing your dishes. Twitter as well…way too many posts, and again, I care quite little about what song you happen to be listening to right now. I still think there’s value in LinkedIn (it’s where I initially found your blog and where I found today’s blog by you as well).

    But yeah, I’ve begun to feel “oversocialized”…or “ubersocialized”…or I’m suffering from “social fatigue” or something.

    Wait! I know. I have a “social disease”. Don’t socialize that, will ya, Aleksandra?

    • Great points Tobin. I always warn people that Twitter can be a little like that unless you know the information you are searching for. Because I concentrate my follows and tweets on a few key areas (technology, social media, PR, marketing, decor and Toronto) I’ve found great value in the tool but of course all this takes time.

      Google+ sits an interesting line between Facebook and Twitter. Solves the friend grouping/privacy issues of Facebook and the character limit/grouping issues of Twitter. The thing is can it take off in this world of uberaocialization (yes I use this word too). We are moat definitely hyper connected in a way I couldn’t have imagines five years ago.

      Google+ may end up being a real player I they can get their act together and get enough people on there. Groundswell will be important.

      It’s a great idea but in my full deck of social media network cards I’m just not sure where it’ll fit. Perhaps it’ll be like the joker card – useful in some gems, not used in others….

    • Sorry typed all that on an iPhone in a car. Meant ubersocialization. Sorry!!!

  2. My principle is very simple – participate in many social networking platforms (e.g., twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Google+, WordPress, and etc.), as you want, as long as it provides you accessibility to different circles of people (or should I say “users”). Think about how each one of your social networking platforms actually contributes to your social life, to your career, or even to your hobby. It is not about the number of the social networking platforms, its about their function.


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