I met with a colleague, Lance Michalson, the other day and was describing the various social services I use for various purposes. The more I described my setup the more elaborate and confusing it seemed. When I thought about it I realised that much of the complexity was borne out of a Facebook distrust. Facebook has abused our trust so many times in the past I just didn’t want to entrust it with all my social and personal content and contact on the Web despite the simple fact that it is probably one of the most ubiquitous social networks on the Web today if you count mainstays like email and possibly IM/Chat? At 500+ million users and given Facebook’s increasing role as a platform, its not difficult to see Facebook as a dominant social platform for most people.
Lately I’ve felt a stronger need to simplify my work and life stuff. Its so easy to focus on tools and forget what I am supposed to be doing with those tools and just get stuff done. When it comes to Facebook I am beginning to wonder if my historical objections to using Facebook as the focal point of my online personal experience still apply? I have tended to prefer to publish my posts to my blog; my photos to Flickr and my video content to Vimeo or YouTube because I just haven’t felt comfortable that I could ever get it out of Facebook. I have also doubted whether Facebook can be trusted to handle it in a way I would be comfortable with going forward. I suppose a similar criticism could be leveled at other services I use so I find myself wondering, again, whether I can trust Facebook enough with my stuff?
Using Facebook as my primary platform for personal stuff would certainly simplify things. My profile is restricted to people I am actually friendly with or who are family members. I don’t “friend” people I haven’t met or know well enough to feel comfortable sharing my family life with.
We have different levels of privacy in the context of friends who aren’t really friends but are more connections and people who are real friends. To me that means I use platforms which share my stuff and stuff about me in varying degrees. My personal blog is where I share my thoughts about things and family stuff we’re happy to make public. My other blog is where I occasionally blog about non-family stuff and focus on gadgets and other stuff I like.
I feel the need to consolidate, I’m just not too sure where.
Update: Sam Beckbessinger suggested I include content flows so I updated the diagram to this: