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Privacy, Social Media and Learning

Social Media Apps I Love and Some Thoughts on "The Biggies"

In a comment on last week's post, Social Media Apps I've Tried to Love but Can't, Kevin Gamble said:

Maybe you should have written a post on what you do use. You've crossed off all the biggies. What's left?

On one level, Kevin makes a good point--that is, it makes sense for me to share the social media apps I DO love to use. But on another level, I think it's interesting that Kevin's suggesting there's nothing left once you aren't having a love affair with Twitter, Google Reader, FriendFeed and Facebook. I'd beg to differ.

So what are the social media tools I use most frequently?

  • Typepad--I started using Typepad for The Bamboo Project a few years ago and while I'm interested in moving to Wordpress, I have so much invested in the Typepad platform at this point, I'm not sure I want to do a change-over. We are using Wordpress over at Work Literacy, though.  In some sense  the issue isn't the specific platform as much as the fact that I see my blogs as a major foundation for my online work and presence. These are where I can process and share and learn. Comments on other people's blogs are also a major way in which I engage in online discussions.
  • Netvibes--As I said last week, Netvibes is my RSS reader of choice. The layout works well for me and I like the simplicity of its interface.
  • Google Productivity Tools--Google Docs, Google Notebook and Gmail all help me get work done on a daily basis.
  • Google Alerts--One of the ways I monitor topics that interest me.
  • Jott--Although lately I've been using Jott a little less because I've been chained to my desk, this is still one of my best personal productivity options for when I'm more out and about.

One thing I realize as I look over my list is that these are the tools of an introvert (which I am). They favor receiving and reflecting on information, having time to process, etc. This is typically how introverts work. They prefer the ability to listen carefully, to delve into things more deeply, to work on exactly how they say something, which is what blogging in particular can support. 

The social media apps that I have more difficulty getting into are online versions of extraverts bombarding me with conversation. Twitter is an extravert's dream--it's 140 characters for "thinking out loud." (Which probably explains why I feel so stupid using it to broadcast things). Facebook's interface also favors weaker connection and more superficial conversation. You're not going to get into an extensive discussion on anything through postings on each other's walls.

Obviously we need both kinds of people in this world--and both kinds of tools as well. What I think we need to be careful about, though, is assuming that the tools we love are the tools everyone should love. We each have to find what works for us.

I love social media and the ability to make connections, but I think that like most introverts, I tend to favor having a smaller network with deeper connections, which is why I tend to use RSS and connections through blogs so much--they give me a chance to engage more deeply with people. I also understand that there are times when the more extraverted tools will serve me better, which is why I keep trying with things like Twitter and Facebook. It helps, though, to remember that there's a place for both types of engagement online.

Comments

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Maybe on the introvert thing.

I do know several people who are proclaimed introverts who are twittering away. So then I was thinking maybe it was willingness to be transparent. But that falls apart since you seem to be perfectly willing to bare all (OK, most) on your blog.

So I don't know what it is that makes one person like a tool, and not others. I suspect there are a number of really smart people working to understand it. Perhaps it's just that we as humans really are pretty unpredictable individually while falling neatly into bell curves in aggregate?

Kia ora Michele!

One of the things I learnt about the so-called introvert personality (Myers-Briggs) is that these types can actually learn how to behave as would an extrovert. Very useful for an introvert teacher in the classroom.

The other way round is not so true. An extrovert, apparently, does not have the resourcefulness required to cope with situations that an introvert can take in their stride.

Of course, the introvert needs to recover from a bout of extrovert-related activity whereas the extrovert does not.

"Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice.

My hunch is that your 'tools of an introvert' may well be tools that an extrovert may prefer not to use. Whereas introverts can learn to accept the use the 'tools of an extrovert'.

Ka kite

Ken, I think you may be right, which might also explain Christine's point that introverts are twittering. People who meet me are often surprised to find that I'm extroverted because as an introvert, I've had to learn how to be more extroverted just to get along in this world.

Then again, maybe you're right, Christine--maybe it's that as humans we're not always that predictable.

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