Today’s choices in social networking

Adam Jones

Social networking is an important part of life and business these days, but despite that it can be quite a hassle.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn are the big names but which service is right for any given person?

Twitter keeps it short and sweet, allowing friends, communities, businesses and celebrities to keep in contact and share ideas with whomever they please.

Facebook allow for more substance, allowing you to post without length limits and share with greater ease. Celebrities have fan pages, many businesses have pages and even some neighborhoods make pages for themselves.

LinkedIn is more for professional networking than social networking, but can be used to link social contacts for the purpose of expanding one’s business network.

Google+ combines Twitter and Facebook into a single service. Posts are made more in the way of tweets than status updates, but one’s profile is more akin to Facebook.

Personal information is left out of the mix on Google+ to protect users, but if someone really wants to share their personal information, they can.

So which one is the best? There are obvious reasons to use each, but for some people a specific service may be superior.

To determine the answer, the drawbacks of each service should be clear. In many cases, however, they are not.

Facebook is personally my least favorite of the big wigs.

I’m not afraid to admit I use it, but Facebook does not treat its members as customers. In fact, Facebook members are very low on the priority list for Facebook.

On Facebook, advertisers are at the top. As a member of Facebook, an individual is just someone to click links and create ad revenue. Members are the product for advertisers to consume.

Twitter is next up. It is useful and keeps things to the point, but its usefulness is often abused.

Many active tweeters think that everyone constantly wants to know what they are doing, and therefore post simple things, such as “Donuts for breakfast, off to class.”

That’s great that you had doughnuts, but I really don’t need to know that you didn’t know how to spell doughnut.

Google+ is my favorite of the unprofessional social networks. It keeps things short, allows me to see pictures, and treat me like a human being. Google+ members are the consumer for Google, so there is no lack of priority to the needs of the person using the service.

Besides, who doesn’t like being appreciated every now and then?

LinkedIn is my personal favorite social network, however, because it cuts the social aspect out of the network. This isn’t to say that it is anti-social, but instead that it leaves the social aspect of the network to the user, and not to the service.

I prefer to be social in person whenever possible, rather than using the medium of a computer screen, and LinkedIn leaves me to do just that.

Despite being treated like a second class citizen on Facebook, dealing with nonsensical yammering on Twitter, sharing with my friends on Google+ in the way that I please, or keeping my life professional on LinkedIn, I realize that I need some of these services in my life.

Hopefully Facebook and Twitter will go by the wayside, but they can be lived with for now.

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