Promoting Vs Annoying: My Love-Hate Relationship With Social Networking Updates



MyPoints: Earn Free Stuff For Shopping Online
I love it when I have a spare 10-15 minutes to sit around and fool with Twitter (where you can follow my seemingly random muses and rants at http://twitter.com/djazzycool1, and blog specific updates at http://twitter.com/fastforwardlife). A quick explanation for those of you who haven’t come across all the press on the micro-blogging service, Twitter ‘purpose’ is to answer the question, “What are you doing right now,” and share that answer with a few thousand followers instantly, and allowing those followers to potentially share that answer with the millions that have signed up for the service. Twitter has allowed me the chance to get back into the chat-room experience minus the hassle of chat-room moderation. In the past week I was able to have sustained conversations on the TV show 24, Terrell Owens’ signing with the Buffalo Bills, the Obama stimulus plan, and coffee. In any spare 10-15 minutes I can see what is going on in the lives of thousands of real friends, friends I’ve only met on the internet, and other random people (and more than a few celebrities) who are interesting, entertaining, or informative.

But there is always a con to every pro, and my con for Twitter is that since I am ease dropping with permission on a lot of diverse conversation, I get sucked into skimming through a lot of promotional garbage at times. I ironically also contribute to that garbage with various completely useless random thoughts of my own (@djazzycool1 is threatening to turn on the air conditioner) along with blatant blog promotions. Sure, all those who receive my information have given me permission to blab as much as I want to type. And I have given the same permission to all that I follow to push whatever they want my way in 140 characters or less. I can stop following any overly chatty personality with a few mouse clicks, and plenty of people that get tired of me stop following me as well.

It is only when Twitter is the only means of communication that I have with people, and for some people it truly is, completely dropping a follower becomes a problem. That is the basis for the hate part I have with social media. Other issues:

– Back in the day when I though it might be cool if people would fill out there profiles Yahoo! so that it would be easier to communicate, nobody wanted all that personal information just floating on a server somewhere in California. Now, the only what I communicate with some old friends is thought social networking sites.

– A year ago I asked a friend who was going through a rough path how she was doing. She told me to check out her MySpace status. She said this as she was standing right in front of me.

– I talk to my teenage cousins through MySpace and text messages, and since they only talk/type in text speak, I have no idea what they are saying most of the time.

– I have held hour long conversation with people sitting next to me in IM spaces because it was more convenient.

And so on and so forth. I’m sure you have your own loves and hates with communicating in the realm of social media. But for all of the drawbacks that come with being attached with living on the internet, the positives outweigh the negatives by leaps and bounds.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Friend Feed, LinkedIn, and other online connectivity services allow the average person a chance to connect to every single one of the over 6 billion people on the planet. You can ask a question and get answers from experts almost instantly. And the reach of businesses large or small, even with the amount of exploitation that is used, makes it less of a necessary evil and more of a daily annoyance or chore

Which is a long winded way to bring us to the title: promoting versus annoying. You wouldn’t think of driving around your neighborhood, knocking on every door, and announcing that Tuesday is tuna fish day for lunch. But you can do that in your online neighborhood. In fact, it might even be encourage as a way to foster a more community feel.

You would also be hesitant to go door-to-door selling your wares in today’s society. But inbox-to-inbox, as long as you have permission and are not overly annoying, is perfectly acceptable.

But there has to be balance. Unless you’re an entertainer or comedian, you can’t get by with just dropping funny quips. Unless you have the greatest product in the world or truly don’t care home many people you annoy to make a sale, you can’t just pitch links to your affiliate marketing programs.

It is okay to be a citizen, salesman, and statesman to various degrees within your online social networks. But just like in real life, a message can get really old and offensive a lot quicker that one may suspect. Expect to lose a follower or friend occasionally for various reasons, but try not to give them your excessive status yapping as a reason.

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