2016 Personal Social Media Inventory

I have an aspiration to review my personal social media outlets once a year. Can’t tell you the last time that I did one, but I did one this year. I’m a firm believer in the idea that an unused media outlet is like an unstaffed reference desk, even if it’s a personal account.

So it turns out there are 15 accounts I can remember – both accounts on social media sites and some blogs. Here’s what I pulled together:

Social Media accounts:

  • ALA Connect
  • Ello
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • GoodReads
  • GooglePlus
  • Instagram
  • LibraryThing
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Blogs/Websites I maintain:

 

I don’t know about you, but 15 outlets is unsustainable for me. I feel like I need to close some out entirely and/or repurpose others. In order to help me make decisions, I put together a spreadsheet that includes the date I last updated an account, what my original purpose was in starting the account, and notes on how I currently use the service/blog.

I’d like to share my decisions to date, along with the outlets I’m still thinking about:

Discard

Ello – I joined this network shortly after it opened. I wasn’t thrilled with it and stopped updating. But I never cancelled my account. It’s been so long that I need to look up my password, just so I can cancel my account. Assuming it’s not already cancelled because I can’t find any Ello page that references me or my common social media handle.

Flickr – I last upload a photo back in 2014. I only have 96 followers. I participate in no discussion. The main reason I’m still a member because I archived thousands of photos there. I’m far more likely to share photos on Facebook, and to a lesser degree Instagram. Most of my photos I’ve taken (at least since 2010) are on Google Photo Backup and on multiple hard drives. My plan is to set aside a weekend and try to determine (through date range) which photos are on Flickr but not in Google Photo Backup. I’ll download those photos, upload them to Google and then cancel my moribund Flickr account.

Keep

ALA Connect – This is the American Library Association’s official internal organization social network. I last posted to it about a year ago, according to the service. It really doesn’t help networking with librarians BUT it is a good tool for following the work of ALA committees and roundtables. So I will stick with it in a consuming mode, but be clear that I’m not using it for networking.

Facebook – I use this every day, though I’m trying to cut back. Most of my friends and family use this tool, so I’m hanging on to it. I am making an effort not to pass on things I have not verified.

GoodReads – This is my public reading list and review site. I think every librarian working in public service ought to have some reading-related social networking site. I find it very convenient, a lot of my friends are there and I pick up a lot of good reading recommendations from seeing what my friends are up to. It is tightly integrated into Amazon Kindle. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not. I would never, ever list a book there that I wasn’t comfortable with the FBI, CIA and NSA knowing about. That’s not specific to GoodReads. If you don’t want EVERYONE to know about your reading/listening/viewing choices, don’t post them online.

Librarian from Alaska – This is my professional blog I started a few years ago when I became uncomfortable with having library related items sharing the same site as my strong personal political views. I usually posted the most during ALA conferences, which I won’t be going to as frequently now that I’m no longer on ALA Council. It only has a fraction of the visitors of my personal blog.

But – I’m going to keep it, at least for 2017. I’ve noticed some people in library and/or tech using their blogs to document/provide accountability for professional development activities. I enjoy reading about what these people are doing and think some activities I have planned for 2017 might be of interest to others.

LinkedIn – While I infrequently post here, my objective is to have a handy place for an online resume easily viewable by others. So I’m keeping it for at least 2017. If I still have my professional blog in 2018, I may move my resume information from LinkedIn to a page on Librarian From Alaska.

Pinterest – I would like to drop this account as I hardly even “pin” things. However, I have a number of professional colleges who pin useful library/tech related items which I would not be able to fully use if I did not have a Pinterest account. So it too stays for 2017, as a consumer. Maybe I’ll create a “Lurker” image file and pin that so people know it isn’t worth it to follow me.

YouTube – I only have one subscriber on YouTube and I haven’t posted a video for a year. I’m far more likely to post video to Facebook Live, which is crazy easy to use. However, I’m a voracious consumer of YouTube content, often having music videos or science lectures playing while I’m doing my morning workout. I like having personalized lists, so it stays. Since I only have one subscriber, I don’t see the need to post a “I’m not making YouTube videos video.”

Still thinking things over

The above were the easy choices. Here are my hard ones:

Eclectic Alaskan – My personal blog still pulled a respectable number of visitors in 2016 – 3,276. I don’t write a whole lot these days. I find most of what I’d blog about I wind up writing to my friends on Facebook. This also goes for photo posts. But we do have a change in Presidents and if I can find something constructive to say that isn’t said by 100,000 others it would be nice to have a voice beyond my Facebook friends. But I don’t know. If I do end it, I will probably leave it up as an archive site of my posts, with a static front page to that effect.

GooglePlus – The only hard part about deciding here is researching whether I have to have GooglePlus for other applications. I haven’t done the research yet. If you have, I’d love to hear from you.

Instagram – I started this as one more place to share my on again, off again photography. When I first signed up, I also enjoyed the fact that I could post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram simultaneously. Turns out I have several vocal friends on all three services who dislike getting the same photo three times. So I haven’t been using that feature. But since I mostly share photos on Facebook, I haven’t been posting those to Instagram.

If I were serious about my photography, I would definitely keep Instagram. Part of me wants to keep Instagram in case I do get more serious, another part of me says it’s time to drop it since I’m not updating and only have 83 followers.

LibraryThing – Mostly a way to share personal catalogs and book reviews. Added my last book in January 2014 but have a lifetime membership. But use GoodReads so much more despite their ties to Amazon. Will likely be dropped unless someone passionate convinces me otherwise. Or if GoodReads turns into a premium service from Amazon.

Twitter – I mostly use this for conferences, which I’m going to less, and to keep with a few Facebook averse folks. Also use to publicize my side projects. Probably updating enough to not be an empty reference desk, but I can’t be everywhere, right? So still thinking.

Writer’s Guide to Government Information – This may be the hardest decision. So much work went into this subject oriented list of annotated links likely to be of use to fiction writers. But I haven’t updated for over a year and this site needs active promotion to writers in addition to link checking and text updating. With everything else that I’m doing, I don’t think I can give this work the attention it deserves. So I’m considering the following:

  • Removing it from the web.
  • Place a note/banner/etc that the site will no longer be updated and invite people to reuse and rework any piece they like.
  • Solicit a new editor from my govdocs contacts and turn the resource over to them.

 

My intention is to post decisions on outlets as I make them. Feel free to poke me if you don’t see new decisions. Also, I highly recommend you take some time to inventory your own social media/blogging efforts and see what you want to continue or discard.

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